Rafael Nadal French Open
Defending champion Rafael Nadal during a training session.Reuters

World number two Novak Djokovic and women's eighth seed Maria Sharapova will kick-start their journey in the 2014 French Open, while defending champion Rafael Nadal will begin his title defence against America's Robby Ginepri on Day 2 at the Roland Garros.

Djokovic is bidding to win his first French Open crown, and is in the right shape after returning from an injury. The six-time Grand Slam winner defeated Nadal in the Rome Masters final recently and has enough reasons to believe he can complete his Career Slam this time.

"Knowing that I have gotten closer and closer each year to the title gives me enough reason to be confident for the start of this year," Djokovic said. "It's a Grand Slam. It's a two-week long event, best-of-five (sets), and there is a feeling that almost all of the players who are participating in the event have an extra motivation to perform well."

Djokovic has now beaten Nadal in four successive matches, and his most recent victory came on clay. The Serb feels his recent wins against the defending champion has motivated him to perform well at the Roland Garros this time.

"Winning against Nadal on clay is something that doesn't happen every day," Djokovic said. "The tournament win in Rome came at the right moment for me. For my confidence level it's definitely a booster and a positive thing. Hopefully I can carry that confidence coming into Roland Garros... I'm healthy and obviously very motivated and inspired to play my best tennis here."

Meanwhile, Sharapova will face fellow Russian Ksenia Pervak in the first round. The four-time major winner enjoyed a good start to the clay court season, by winning titles in Madrid and Stuttgart but she crashed out in the third round of the Rome Masters.

The 27-year-old believes her early exit from Rome has given her extra time to prepare for the Grand Slam.

"I think time will ultimately tell," she said. "I think it gave me a few extra days maybe to rest instead of trying to hurry up and come here and trying to get on the courts as soon you can.

Sharapova is on the same draw as Serena Williams, and they could possibly meet in the quarterfinals. But the Russian sensation is determined to add another major title to her kitty and get back to the number one ranking.

18th seed Canadian Eugenie Bouchard will face Israel's Shahar Peer in the first round, while Germany's Sabine Lisicki will start her French Open journey against Australia's Fiona Ferro. 2014 Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia and Italy's Roberta Vinci will also be in action.

Schedule of Play: Men

Kei Nishikori vs Martin Klizan starts at 2:30 pm IST, 9:00 am GMT

Marin Cilic vs Pablo Andujar starts at 2:30 pm IST, 9:00 am GMT

Tommy Robredo vs James Ward starts at 4:30 pm IST, 11:00 am GMT

Novak Djokovic vs Joao Sousa starts at 4:30 pm IST, 11:00 am GMT

Gilles Simon vs Mate Pavic starts at 4:30 pm IST, 11:00 am GMT

Feliciano Lopez vs Damir Dzumhur starts at 5:30 pm IST, 12:00 pm GMT

Rafael Nadal vs Robby Ginepri starts at 7:30 pm IST, 2:00 pm GMT

Schedule of Play: Women

Dominika Cibulkova vs Virginie Razzano starts at 2:30 pm IST, 9:00 am GMT

Maria Sharapova vs Ksenia Pervak starts at 2:30 pm IST, 9:00 am GMT

Sabine Lisicki vs Fiona Ferro starts at 2:30 pm IST, 9:00 am GMT

Eugene Bouchard vs Shahar Peer starts at 4:30 pm IST, 11:00 am GMT

Samantha Stosur vs Monica Puig starts at 5:30 pm IST, 12:00 am GMT

Roberta Vinci vs Pauline Parmentier starts at 5:30 pm IST, 12:00 am GMT

 Where to Watch Live

The day's action is scheduled for 2:30 pm IST, 9:00 am GMT and 5:00 am ET start, with live coverage on NBC Sports and ESPN 2 in the US and NEO Prime and NEO Sports in India. The matches can be watched via live streaming option in the US HERE or HERE. The matches can be live streamed by international viewers HERE.