Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Just No Luck of Draw for Murray

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Just No Luck of Draw for Murray

Article excerpt

ANDY Murray admits he could hardly have had a tougher draw after being handed a first-round clash with Richard Gasquet at this year's French Open.

Former world number seven Gasquet represents a nightmare start for Murray, whose path to the second week at Roland Garros is paved with potential pitfalls.

Gasquet has fallen to 68th in the world, partly due to injury but also but also as the result of a provisional ban for taking cocaine last year, something of which he was later cleared.

Murray said: "It should be very difficult. Gasquet is a very, very good player.

"He was a top-10 player in the world, he had problems last year, but he is playing very well again."

Asked if it was the toughest possible draw, Murray added: "The match could turn up a lot of different ways but he is one of the best players who is not seeded.

"I am going to have to play very well to beat him."

Murray, who turned 23 last week, has a 2-1 losing record against Gasquet (right) but won their last meeting at Wimbledon two years ago - an epic five-setter which saw the Scot fight back from two sets down.

He added: "It was a great match. The first couple of sets, he played incredibly well. He was hitting winners from all over the court. He became very nervous when he had the chance to close the match out in the third set.

"Then there was a huge shift in momentum and I played very well the last two sets.

"It was one of the best atmospheres I have played in, and I am sure that the atmosphere when we play here will be great as well."

The Centre Court crowd played a huge part in Murray's Wimbledon win, but he will be the villain when he takes to the clay against home favourite Gasquet in the coming days.

The world number four said: "I have always had pretty good support here.

"They quite like the way I play, but I am not expecting the crowd to be cheering for me because I am playing against a French player. …

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