Qualifying begins: 20 June

The Draw: 24 June

Pre-event Press Conferences: 25 & 26 June

Order of Play: 26 June

Championships begin: 27 June

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Sunday 22 May 2016 20:06 PM BST
Andy Murray learning lessons from the King of Clay
The world No.2 practised with the multiple French Open champion in the days before Roland Garros 2016 began READ MORE

Chasing his first French Open title, what better practice partner for Andy Murray than nine-time champion Rafael Nadal?

The two trained on an overcast Friday at the Court Suzanne Lenglen at Roland Garros in Paris.

It’s not the first time Murray and Nadal have hit together recently, with the Scot spending a few days with the 14-time grand slam champion in Mallorca just before the Madrid Masters earlier this month.

Practice clearly paid off in Madrid with Murray beating Nadal for the second year in a row. Although he lost in the final to world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, Murray beat the Serb in the Rome final last week and perhaps for the first time, he is considered a real contender for the French Open title.

Murray, 29, has learnt a lot from hitting with both Nadal and Djokovic over the years.

“Why not get the best practice possible before big events?,” Murray told reporters at Roland Garros Friday.

“You don't actually learn loads about their game when you're practising with them, but it's great practice,” he added. “Intensity is high obviously when you're playing against the best players. You want to practice well. There's a little bit more incentive there in the practice.”

Djokovic noticed Murray has made a few improvements to his game in the past month or so, especially his often criticised second serve.

“He did have some progress there,” the Serb said in a news conference. “He gets more depth and more, lets say, speed on the second serve, which of course helps him a lot to kind of have an easier first shot in the rally.”

Roger Federer, who will be missing from this year’s event with a back injury – the first slam he’s missed this century – rarely practised with his rivals.

Nadal and Djokovic also tend not to hit together but the Serb said he has no problems practising with his rivals.

“It's good,” Djokovic said. “Not all the time, I guess, because it's not easy to always keep that kind of high level of concentration and intensity when you're playing against one of your top rivals.

“But it's (good) to see where you are and things that you need to work on.”

Murray, who faces the veteran Czech Radek Stepanek in the first round and will avoid both Nadal and Djokovic until the final, is taking things slowly when it comes to his coaching situation.

He’s working in Paris with former British pro Jamie Delgado after parting ways with former Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo earlier this month.
“Obviously with the way that everything went in Rome and Madrid, things obviously are going well just now, so no need to sort of rush into anything,” Murray said. “I'm happy with the work I have done with Jamie so far.”