Tennis: Jonny set for tough opener

Great Britain's Colin Fleming (left) and Jonny Marray
Great Britain's Colin Fleming (left) and Jonny Marray
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Jonny Marray and doubles partner Colin Fleming have been given a tough opening round tie at Roland Garros.

The British pair are seeded 10th for the tournament but even as one of the highest ranked team’s in the French Open they haven’t been able to avoid a potentially difficult match against Brazil’s Andre Sa and Spain’s Feliciano Lopez.

Marray knows Sa well after he partnered him during two tournaments - including the Australian Open - earlier this year.

Lopez is more of a singles specialist and has spent more than a decade in the upper echelons of the ATP Tour.

However, Marray and Fleming are a very proficient partnership and have had a decent season since becoming a regular pairing in February.

Marray, the Sheffield-based 32-year-old Wimbledon doubles champion, told The Star that he’s looking forward to the second major tournament of the year.

He said: “We’re in good form after last week (Marray and Fleming reached the semi-finals of the Power House Cup in Dusseldorf).

“The French Open is always difficult because it’s on clay and it takes a while to get used to. But I’ve played a good amount of tournaments on it so we’ll be okay.

“The draw is bigger in the majors than the normal ATP events we play in of 16 or 24 teams, but even so there’s no easy matches to ease yourself into the tournament.

“People probably thought that about me last year at Wimbledon, so it shows that anyone can beat anyone.”

Marray and Fleming are Britain’s No 1 partnership as they showed during a brilliant display in the country’s Davis Cup win over Russia in April.

But they’ve yet to challenge for a title and are 28th in the race for the top eight spots in the end of season ATP Finals - their overall goal for the year.

Marray said: “London (the Finals) is what we want but at the moment we’re a long way off that. The season is long and we’ve both had injury lay-offs.

“All we can do is keep taking it one tournament at a time and if we do reach London then it will have been a decent season.”

The doubles are likely to get underway in Paris on Tuesday and Wednesday. American brothers Bob and Mike Bryan are No 1 seeds.

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