Melbourne, Australia, 20 May 2013 |

Australians Lleyton Hewitt and Marinko Matosevic will finalise their preparations for the French Open this week when they contest the Open de Nice Côte d’Azur.

The Nice event, a 250-level tournament on the ATP World Tour calendar, is one of the last red clay tournaments – along with the event in Dusseldorf, Germany – to play out before the action gets underway at Roland Garros on Sunday 26 May.

Hewitt will take on Spain’s Pablo Andujar in his opening match, an opponent who recently won all the way through to the semifinals at the Madrid Masters as a wildcard.

This will be the Australian’s first event in more than a month, and first on European clay in 2013.

His last outing came at the US Men’s Clay Court Championship in Houston, where a stomach bug – picked up during Australia’s Davis Cup tie in Uzbekistan – contributed to a first round defeat.

Should Hewitt win that battle with Andujar, a likely second round battle looms against Italian No.5 seed Andreas Seppi.

Meanwhile, Matosevic will take on Dutchman Robin Haase in his first round match, with the winner booking a date with No.4 seed John Isner, the American awarded a bye into the second round.

Matosevic has gone 3-5 on European clay this spring, reaching the second round in Monte Carlo and Munich.

Hewitt and Matosevic has also teamed for the doubles even, and will take on the French pairing of Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin in round one.

The Open de Nice Côte d’Azur was headed by top seed Tomas Berdych, who since the draw was made has withdrawn citing fatigue. Frenchman Gilles Simon is the second seed.