The 10-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal was preparing for his first round clash against Alexandr Dolgopolov but the Ukrainian has just withdrawn from the main draw, leaving the space open for a lucky loser Simone Bolelli. Dolgopolov had finished 2017 season in the Top 40, scoring almost 30 wins, and he opened his 2018 campaign with the quarter-final in Brisbane and the third round at the Australian Open.
Nonetheless, he started to struggle with a wrist injury and his season took a downfall, playing just two matches after Melbourne and winning only nine games in total against Andrea Arnaboldi in Marrakech and Novak Djokovic in Rome.
Alexandr gave his best to make an appearance in Paris but he was forced to leave the tournament before the beginning, unable to play at his 100% against the defending champion. Nadal will now face the 32-year-old Italian Simone Bolelli who is about to enter his 12th consecutive Roland Garros, scoring nine wins in total and reaching the third round in 2008 and 2015.
Nadal and Bolelli have played five times before and the Spaniard won all the encounters, losing the opening set in Rotterdam 2009 but rattling off the next 11 games, including a dominant win at Roland Garros in 2011 when Simone won just five games.