Paris - Andy Murray targets a French Open tonic in the
broiling heat of Roland Garros on Tuesday as the 2016 runner-up seeks to get
his season back on track.
World number one Murray, who was the first British man to
reach the Paris final since 1937 when he lost to Novak Djokovic 12 months ago,
faces Andrey Kuznetsov, the world number 85, in his opening round.
The 30-year-old has endured a trying 2017 with bouts of
illness as well as an elbow injury conspiring against him and his form.
He suffered a shock fourth round defeat to Mischa Zverev at
the Australian Open.
On clay, he lost in the third round in Monte Carlo, made the
semis in Barcelona, was a third-round loser in Madrid before an opening defeat
in Rome to Fabio Fognini.
Then he fell sick again when he arrived in Paris.
"It's frustrating - it's the third time I have been
ill this year," said the Scot.
However, he said he was surprised that he hadn't been laid
low by sickness on many more occasions over his career.
"To be honest, it should happen more really. We are in
the locker rooms with lots of players, lots of sweat, lots of germs, you know,
in airplanes all the time."
Kuznetsov, who was once as high as 39 in the world, has lost
both his career meetings against Murray and has never got beyond the third
round of a Grand Slam.
Two years ago, he was defeated by Rafael Nadal in the last
Swiss third seed Stan Wawrinka, the 2015 winner and reigning
US Open champion, starts against Jozef Kovalik.
The Slovakian qualifier, ranked 152, has made the main draw
for the first time.
He has won just two matches on the tour in 2017, both coming
in Chennai in January when he stunned 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic on his
way to the quarter-finals.
His prize money for the year so far is $52 000 - he's
guaranteed $34 000 for making the first round in Paris.
"I have to say I don't know much about him," said
Wawrinka, who has made at least the quarter-finals in three of his last four
trips to the French Open.
In the women's event, 2014 runner-up Simona Halep, seeded
three, faces Jana Cepelova of Slovakia whose only two wins at the tournament
came four years ago.
After the shock first round exit of world number one
Angelique Kerber, Romania's Halep is viewed as strong favourite for a maiden
Grand Slam title.
Ukraine's Elina Svitolina, who won the Rome title on the eve
of Roland Garros, faces Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan.
Svitolina was a quarter-finalist in 2015 but the big-hitting
Kazakh also knows her way around Roland Garros, also making the last eight in
2010 and 2012.
The day's 'popcorn' match will see French 15th seed Gael
Monfils, a semi-finalist in 2008, clash with flamboyant Dustin Brown of