Andy Murray starts French Open campaign against Andrey Kuznetsov

Andy Murray starts French Open campaign against Andrey Kuznetsov

Paris: Defending champion Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal were drawn to face each other in a potential blockbuster French Open semi-final on Friday. It can be a very unpredictable tournament because of the unusual surface.

"Not many people believe that I can play tennis again".

This might be the weakest French Open field in many years because of some top players missing the tournament.

The good news is Andy Murray, still officially the best player in the world, is not wallowing in a slough of despond on the eve of the French Open.

In the absence of Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, the women's draw is looking wide open this year. Fans and opponents alike would love to see her back in competition.

The fourth-seeded Nadal, the only player with nine trophies from one Grand Slam tournament, will open against Benoit Paire. No player in the Open era has ever won the same Grand Slam event 10 times. Margaret Court won 11 Australian Opens but seven of those were in the Amateur era.

The last two years were then recurring disappointments to the Nadal camp in the French capital. Djokovic completed the career Grand Slam by winning his first French title past year, beating Murray 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in the final.

On the women's side, things are very much in flux right now because of who isn't playing and who might not.

Alabama executes 'Houdini' inmate for 1982 murder-for-hire
A victims' advocacy group director refers to Arthur as the "Houdini" of death row for the number of execution stays he has won. Alabama "plans to do the same to Mr Arthur", his lawyers said in an appeal rejected by the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals.

Petra Kvitova could provide one of the tournament's feel-good storylines though with the two-time Wimbledon champion in line for a shock comeback in the French capital.

While the 27-year old recently said she is "ready to start competing", her return is scheduled for next month's grass-court tournament in Mallorca as a tune-up ahead of Wimbledon.

Romanian and world No. 4 Simona Halep was the opening +350 favourite.

Djokovic leads their series 3-0, having never lost a set to Granollers.

Kerber is due to face defending champion Garbine Muguruza of Spain in the semi-finals. Svitolina has yet to advance past the quarter-finals of any Slam. Heading into the French Open, the men at Nos.

Britain's other representatives in the main draw are Kyle Edmund, who plays the Portuguese Gastão Elias, Dan Evans, who might struggle to reproduce the heroics on clay that he showed on the hard court of Flushing Meadows in a competitive four-setter against Tommy Robredo in 2013, and Aljaz Bedene, who has a good chance against the American, Ryan Harrison. "The MRI scan shows a torn ligament from the fall in Roma". Cabral "Cabbie" Richards rounds out the team, serving up an interview with Canadian tennis star and world #6-ranked player Milos Raonic. Following a quarter-final finish at the WTA Madrid Open earlier this month, Bouchard looks to build on a resurgent 2017 campaign. He was eliminated in the fourth round a year ago.

The major reason for their split was the fact that Lendl did not want to make the time commitment that Murray required, but they got back together last summer and enjoyed immediate success. China's Li Na won that year.

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