French Open to start with fan numbers slashed

Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka after their 2017 French Open final
Andy Murray (left) misplaced to Stan Wawrinka within the 2017 French Open semi-finals, with the Swiss happening to lose to Rafael Nadal within the ultimate
Dates: 27 September – 11 October Venue: Roland Garros, Paris
Protection: Decided on radio and textual content commentaries on BBC Radio five Reside and the BBC Game website online, plus day-to-day studies and research

Andy Murray says it used to be “fun” to be drawn in opposition to fellow three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka within the French Open, which begins on Sunday.

British former international primary Murray, 33, performs the 16th seed ultimate on Courtroom Philippe Chatrier at about 17:30 BST.

Murray is enjoying on clay for the primary time since dropping to Wawrinka within the 2017 semi-finals at Roland Garros.

British quantity ones Johanna Konta and Dan Evans additionally get started on Sunday, enjoying in opposition to Coco Gauff and Kei Nishikori.

9th seed Konta takes on American 16-year-old Gauff on Courtroom Suzanne Lenglen at about 15:00, with 32nd seed Evans assembly Japan’s former international quantity 4 Nishikori on court docket 14 at about 12:00.

Courtroom Philippe Chatrier Courtroom Suzanne Lenglen
Jannik Sinner (Ita) v David Goffin (Bel) [11] Victoria Azarenka (Blr) [10] v Danka Kovinic (Mno)
Simona Halep (Rom) [1] v Sara Sorribes Tormo (Spa) Jurij Rodionov (Aut) v Jeremy Chardy (Fra)
Anett Kontaveit (Est) [17] v Caroline Garcia (Fra) Johanna Konta (GB) [9] v Coco Gauff (US)
Andy Murray (GB) v Stan Wawrinka (Sui) [16] Alexander Zverev (Ger) [6] v Dennis Novak (Aut)

‘First time I have watched a attract 10 years’

Murray being drawn in opposition to Switzerland’s Wawrinka in his Roland Garros go back used to be a quirk of destiny which has excited enthusiasts.

Throughout the 2017 event in Paris, Murray felt for the primary time one thing used to be no longer proper together with his hip and it used to be an damage which threatened to finish his occupation not up to two years later.

Two main surgical procedures and several other comebacks later, he’s going to face 35-year-old Wawrinka – whose personal occupation has been disrupted through knee accidents – in his moment Grand Slam tournament in fast succession after a second-round defeat at america Open.

“It is an fun draw. It is in fact the primary time I have watched the draw prior to now 10 years,” mentioned Murray, who’s ranked 111th.

“Clearly it is going to be an excessively difficult fit. That fit I performed in opposition to Stan a couple of years in the past used to be a brutal one.

“I roughly knew one thing used to be up ahead of the Kei Nishikori fit within the quarter-finals.

“I did not know that it used to be that dangerous however on the finish of the Stan fit, within the 5th set, I used to be suffering to push up on my serve and shifting to my forehand.

“It by no means felt the similar after that fit.”

Konta might not be fazed through Gauff hype

Konta, 29, returns to where the place she loved a memorable run to the semi-finals a little bit over 15 months in the past.

However her build-up has been massively other to ultimate yr – she has received only one fit in a shortened clay-court season and arrived in Paris with no full-time trainer.

The Briton says she is “getting higher every day” at the floor however she would most definitely have most well-liked to keep away from a skill like Gauff in her opener.

The teenager introduced her arrival at the greatest degree with a run to the Wimbledon fourth around in June 2019, backing that up with a equivalent effort on the Australian Open in January, the place she knocked out protecting champion Naomi Osaka.

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff, who grew to become 16 in March, is ranked 51st and performs within the Roland Garros leading draw for the primary time

Konta, who hasn’t ever performed Gauff, mentioned: “I do know she’s very mature for her age. That is why she’s in a position to compete on the degree she’s competing.

“She’s bodily and mentally mature sufficient to care for the calls for now we have on excursion. Clearly she’s going to only stay getting higher and higher.

“I am very transparent on the truth that I am going in enjoying any other skilled tennis participant who is likely one of the best-ranked on this planet. It’s not relevant if she’s 14 or 40.

“I will be enjoying in opposition to the tennis that she brings, no longer her social media following, no longer her personality.”

Evans, 30, has mentioned he does no longer revel in enjoying on clay and used to be passed arguably the worst draw he may have had in opposition to Nishikori.

The sector quantity 35 is one position beneath Evans within the ratings after damage issues and reached the quarter-finals at Roland Garros ultimate yr for the 3rd time.

“No-one truly wishes to query his high quality. It’s going to be a hard fit,” mentioned Evans, who hasn’t ever received a main-draw matchat the French Open.

“I’ve to move in the market and check out my perfect to win the fit and notice what occurs.”

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