French Open: Andy Murray confident ahead of opener

By Piers NewberyBBC Sport at Roland Garros
Andy Murray
Murray lost to Rafael Nadal in the French Open semi-finals in 2011 and 2014
French Open
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Dates: 24 May - 7 June
Coverage: Live text and BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentaries on every Andy Murray match and other key games

Andy Murray will lead a contingent of five British players in first-round action at the French Open on Monday.

The third seed takes on Argentine qualifier Facundo Arguello at around 17:00 BST on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Heather Watson plays French wildcard Mathilde Johansson, with Aljaz Bedene and qualifiers Jo Konta and Kyle Edmund also in action.

"I feel confident in terms of the way that I'm playing," 28-year-old Murray told BBC Sport.

Tomas Berdych and defending champion Maria Sharapova are among those to begin their campaigns on day two.

Andy Murray plays down French Open chances

Four of the five Britons, including Murray, play in the final matches on their respective courts, with Bedene on after 12:00 BST on Court Five.

Murray arrived in Paris with a 10-0 record on clay this year after his best-ever run on the surface that included titles in Munich and Madrid.

"I feel physically better than I have done with my back in comparison to previous years, but in terms of winning the tournament it's a very, very difficult thing to do," he said.

"With Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic in my part of the draw, and David Ferrer - a guy I've never won against on clay - it will be very difficult."

Andy Murray's potential route to the final
Round one: Facundo Arguello (Argentina, ranking 139)
Round two: Vasek Pospisil (Canada, ranking 51)
Round three: Nick Kyrgios (Australia, seeding 29)
Round four: John Isner (US, seeding 16)
Quarter-final: David Ferrer (Spain, seeding 7)
Semi-final: Novak Djokovic (Serbia, seeding 1) / Rafael Nadal (Spain, seeding 6)
Final: Roger Federer (Switzerland, seeding 2)
Read Russell Fuller's assessment of Murray's French Open hopes

Watson, 23, faces Johansson on Court Two in their second meeting, with the Briton having lost their Wimbledon encounter four years ago.

"I've played a lot matches here and won a lot of matches," said the 23-year-old from Guernsey, who has reached the second round in three of the last four years.

"Most of them have been in qualifying, so hopefully I can start converting them into main draw wins."

Kyle Edmund, 20, takes on 35-year-old French qualifier Stephane Robert on Court Seven, with the Yorkshireman looking to claim his first victory in a Grand Slam main draw.

"I'll learn from my first-round match against Steve Johnson in Australia, and how I felt going out on court, and try and take on what I could have done better," said Edmund.

Heather Watson
Heather Watson was knocked out in the second round of the French Open last year

Slovenia-born Bedene will make his Grand Slam debut as a British player after gaining UK citizenship in March.

The 25-year old from Ljubljana, ranked 77th, takes on Austria's Dominic Thiem.

"I feel very proud and motivated," said Bedene. "I can't wait to step on the court and play the best tennis I can. It's going to be a big moment for me."

Konta plays Denisa Allertova of the Czech Republic, ranked 58 places higher at 86 in the world, in the final match on Court Five.

"I cherish each match," said the 24-year-old Briton. "It's a great experience being here and I'm just happy to keep the experience going."

Sharapova begins her title defence against Kaia Kanepi of Estonia on Chatrier, while fourth seed Berdych plays Yoshihito Nishioka on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

Top Stories