Brit Watch – French Open Preview

Andy Murray, Heather Watson and Aljaz Bedene have been joined by Kyle Edmund and Johanna Konta in the main draw of Roland Garros after both came through some tough qualifying matches. It’s great to see five British players in the main draw of Roland Garros, how far could they go in the tournament?

Andy Murray

Andy is one of the form players this year on the tour and on the clay court with a 10-0 win/loss ratio on the dirt and two titles to his name with also victories against Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic and Rafael Nadal on the clay. The draw hasn’t been very kind to Murray but if you’re going to challenge for these titles you have to beat the best.

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Murray has a lucky loser Arguello (lost in the final round of qualifying) in round one and could face Pospisil, Kyrgios, and Isner or Goffin before the quarter finals! It is a tough draw but Pospisil hasn’t won since Miami and Kyrgios withdrew from Nice a couple of days ago with an injury. With his form this year Andy is a contender but I do believe he has the toughest projected draw out of all the top players.

Heather Watson

Heather’s form has been a bit patchy this year with some inconsistent performances. She has recorded some fantastic wins this year winning the title in Hobart and going on a very good run at Indian Wells. Heather is 11/9 this year which is ok but could be better.

Heather has really pulled the short straw in the draw as she has a very tough section to get out of. It would be nice for Heather to get to a second week of a Slam this year but doing it in France will be very tough indeed!

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This is just Heather’s potential route to the fourth round and as you can see it is difficult. Heather opens up against Mathilde Johansson before a round two match against either Sloane Stephens (who she beat on her way to winning Hobart) or Venus Williams. Round three would see her potentially play Barbora Strycova who she did play at Roland Garros last year and beat in the first round. Round four will be a knockout between Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka!

I think a successful tournament for Heather would be getting to round four. She is more than capable of beating Sloane Stephens and we saw her beat Strycova last year at the tournament.

Kyle Edmund

Kyle has done an exceptional job to get through qualifying to earn himself a place in the main draw. Kyle beat some experienced players including Gerald Melzer, Victor Hanescu and the 12th seed Adrian Menendez-Maceiras in the final round. Luckily the opening round has been kind to Kyle as he also will play a qualifier in Stephane Robert from France currently ranked 550 in the world going into qualifying. Robert it 15 years older than Edmund and this is a very good chance for Kyle to get his first win of the year on the main tour.

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Kyle is in Andy’s section of the draw so you never know they could meet in round three. I do hope Kyle can get that win under his belt in the first round and with the qualifying points he is up to 103 in the rankings already I believe! Kyle could play Kyrgios in round two with the Australian withdrawing from Nice last week with an injury so may not be at 100%.

Johanna Konta

Johanna is another Brit who came through qualifying at Roland Garros. Johanna had to defeat Jovana Jaksic, Elizaveta Kulichkova and Clothilde De Bernardi on her way to the main draw to join Heather Watson representing the Brits. Just like Kyle is with Andy, Johanna is in the same section of the draw as Heather.

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Above I have put Johanna’s route to round four which is pretty much the same as Watson. In round one the Brit will play Denisa Allertova, Strycova in round two, Watson/Stephens/Venus in round three and either Serena or Vika in round four!

The draw has been tough on Konta as well but I hope she can come through the first round match and hopefully maybe the second round but it will be very difficult to beat Venus, Serena or Vika!

Aljaz Bedene

The last Brit in the main draw is Aljaz Bedene. Aljaz is already guaranteed to climb the rankings so is everyone around him. It would be nice for him to get into the top 70 and is currently at number 74 on the tour. Aljaz plays against Dominic Thiem in the first round who may be a bit fatigued after getting to the final of Nice.

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Looking at Bedene’s draw I think he does have a good chance of reaching the third round where he could meet Gael Monfils. If he can get through round one I see no reason why he couldn’t cause Groth or Cuevas problems.

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