French Open 2017: Murray to play Kuznetsov in round one

French Open 2017: Murray to play Kuznetsov in round one

The world number one is on the opposite side of the draw to Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic but could face Juan Martin Del Potro in the third round.

Joe Nicholson

Andy Murray will begin his 2017 French Open campaign against Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov.

The world number one can’t face Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal until the final, however the Brit could meet former US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro in the third round.

By his high standards, Murray arrives in Paris following a poor start to the year.

Early defeats in Madrid and Rome have hampered his clay court season, ahead of the second Grand Slam of the year which starts on Sunday.

Other Brits in action

Fellow Brit Johanna Konta, who is seeded seventh, will be hoping to record her first victory at Roland Garros when she takes on world number 109 Hsieh Su-wei.

Konta will be Britain’s only representative in the women’s singles draw after Heather Watson lost 6-0 6-3 to Richel Hogenkamp of the Netherlands in the final round of qualifying.

On the men’s side, Kyle Edmund faces world number 125 Gastao Elias, before a potential second round clash with 12th seed and home favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

British compatriot Dan Evans has been drawn against 35-year-old Spaniard Tommy Robredo.

Nadal bidding for tenth title in Paris

All eyes will be on nine-time champion Nadal, as he bids to lift the La Coupe des Mousquetaires trophy for an unprecedented tenth time.

Nadal, whose 17-match winning run was ended by Dominic Thiem in Rome last week, will face Frenchman Benoit Paire in the opening round.

Djokovic, who will be playing his first tournament with new coach Andre Agassi, faces Marcel Granollers in round one.

2015 champion Stan Wawrinka, who is seeded to face Murray in the semi-finals, will face Slovakia’s Jozef Kovalik.

Kvitova set to return

On the women’s side, Petra Kvitova will play her first tournament for six months after she was stabbed and suffered serious hand injuries at her home in December last year.

The former Wimbledon champion is seeded 15th and will play American Julia Boserup in her first match back.

Last year’s champion Garbine Muguruza faces a tricky first round against 2010 winner Francesca Schiavone.

Top seed Angelique Kerber will start against Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova.