Saturday, May 21, 2011

Murray paired with qualifier in France

Murray paired with qualifier in FranceAndy Murray was paired with a qualifier in the first round when the draw for the French Open was made at Roland Garros on Friday.
It was significantly better news for the world number four than 12 months ago, when he faced supremely-talented Frenchman Richard Gasquet and had to fight back from two sets down before eventually triumphing in five.
Murray is in the same half of the draw as defending champion and world number one Rafael Nadal, meaning they could meet in the semi-finals, but his initial path looks relatively straightforward.
Murray is in the same quarter of the draw as world number eight Jurgen Melzer, who he has beaten in all of their five meetings, although he would be wary of the Austrian on clay after his run to the semi-finals at Roland Garros last year.
Notable draws in the men's singles saw Nadal paired with giant American John Isner and third seed Roger Federer up against Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, while Novak Djokovic will look to make it 40 matches unbeaten against Thiemo de Bakker of Holland.
The draw was also kind to Britain's two direct entries into the women's singles, with Anne Keothavong facing world number 101 Vesna Dolonts from Russia while Elena Baltacha will take on a qualifier.
That opened up the potential for an all-British clash, with Heather Watson playing her final qualifier against Stefanie Voegele.
World number one Caroline Wozniacki will take on Japanese veteran Kimiko Date Krumm, who at 40 is twice the Dane's age, while Kim Clijsters, playing the French Open for the first time since a semi-final appearance in 2006, meets Anastasiya Yakimova.
Defending champion Francesca Schiavone could have a tricky test in the shape of promising American teenager Melanie Oudin and Maria Sharapova takes on Mirjana Lucic, who in Strasbourg this week reached her first tour-level quarter-final for 12 years.
Meanwhile, Spanish world number 31 Tommy Robredo became the latest player to withdraw from the men's singles, joining Andy Roddick and Juan Carlos Ferrero, who yesterday pulled out with shoulder injuries.

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