French Open 2012: Andy Murray to play Tatsuma Ito in Paris

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Andy Murray prepares for French Open first round

FRENCH OPEN

Venue:
Roland Garros, Paris
Date:
27 May - 10 June
Coverage:
Live text commentaries on BBC Sport website from 1000 BST; updates & commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra and online

Britain's Andy Murray will resume his bid for a maiden Grand Slam title when he takes on Tatsuma Ito of Japan in the first round of the French Open.

The fourth seed said he had never considered missing the tournament to help him get over the back problem that saw him pull out of the Madrid Open.

"I won't be the only one that's got niggles, but hopefully the worst of it's gone now," he said.

"I've been here close to a week now, had some good practice and feel good."

The Scot is in the same half of the draw as Rafael Nadal, who starts the defence of his crown against Italy's Simone Bolelli.

World number one Novak Djokovic faces another Italian in Potito Starace and third seed Roger Federer starts against Germany's Tobias Kamke.

Murray was adamant his fitness was not a major concern, adding: "Apart from my back, everything's been fine. But everybody picks up niggles at various times of the season, and sometimes you can get them at points of the year that aren't ideal.

"Sometimes they can happen when you're just going into a rest period or when you start training again and no-one hears about them."

In the women's draw, British number one Elena Baltacha meets Sam Stosur of Australia, while Anne Keothavong plays Hungarian Melinda Czink.

Heather Watson came through three rounds of qualifying to reach the main draw for the second year in a row and will find out later who she faces.

However, fellow Briton Laura Robson's hopes of joining her there ended when she lost 6-4 5-7 4-6 to Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, having led by a set and 5-3.

Murray reached his first French Open semi-final in 2011, but faces a tough task to better that performance at Roland Garros this year.

Victory over world number 69 Ito, who he has not met previously, will book a second-round meeting with Jarkko Nieminen or Igor Andreev.

It is possible he could then face Alejandro Falla or Bernard Tomic, Richard Gasquet in the last 16 and David Ferrer in the quarter-finals.

Nadal would be his potential semi-final opponent in a repeat of their match last year, which the Spaniard won in straight sets, and Djokovic or Federer may await in the final on 10 June.

The highest-ranked player in Nadal's quarter is eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic, while Djokovic is in the same section as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Federer as Tomas Berdych.

Nadal is seeking a record seventh French Open title, while Djokovic stands to become the first man to hold all four Grand Slam titles simultaneously since Rod Laver in 1969.

On the women's side, world number one Victoria Azarenka begins against Alberta Brianti and her projected semi-final opponent is US Open champion Stosur, the sixth seed.

Second seed Maria Sharapova gets going against Alexandra Cadantu and could face Serena Williams or Caroline Wozniacki in the last eight.

Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova meets wildcard Ashleigh Barty first up, with 2010 champion Francesca Schiavone and reigning champion Li Na in the same quarter.

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