Fox News Weather Center

2016 French Open: Stormy conditions could interfere with play as tournament kicks off

The second tournament in the series of four that comprise the Grand Slam, the French Open, is set to begin this Sunday.

The French Open is the only tournament in the Grand Slam system that plays on a clay court, and various weather conditions can make a huge impact.

Any amount of rain or moisture can drastically change how the court plays.

"If the court is damp and cool, the court plays slower. Tennis balls get heavier and the overall conditions slow down, AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Bernie Rayno said.

They will still play if it's raining, as long as it's light rain, Rayno added.

One of the major players in this tournament is Rafael Nadal, who is vying to be the first player to reach double digits in their French Open titles. Nadal is known to be one of the best clay court tennis players.

A wet and cool first day of the tournament is expected, so fans heading to the Roland-Garros stadium will want to wear rain gear and a light jacket.

A cold front will usher in cooler air for Sunday, allowing the high temperature to reach only the upper teens C (lower 60s F).

Along with the chillier air, rain and the occasional thunderstorm could also unfold.

"On Sunday, the rain will move into central France, with the potential to bring rain and lightning throughout the day," AccuWeather Meteorologist Courtney Spamer said.

The best chance for moderate to heavy rainfall, as well as thunder and lightning, is during the morning.

Matches set to be played in the afternoon have a higher likelihood of being dry than those in the morning.

"Rain will likely taper off to showers for continued round 1 play on Monday," Spamer said.

However, rain shouldn't be heavy enough to cause any delays in play.

French Open players will have to wait until at least 2018 before weather will no longer have an impact on the clay court, as renovation plans for Roland Garros remain in limbo.