Konta leads British quartet in French Open draw

International BNL d'Italia - Day Eight

Only four British singles players are guaranteed entry into the French Open this year.

Andy Murray continues to work on his recovery from hip surgery while Katie Boulter is sidelined by a back problem.

Johanna Konta, left, holds her runner-up trophy after losing to Karolina Pliskova in the Rome final

Konta arrives in Paris on the back of one of the best – and most unexpected – weeks of her career. Clay had been by far the 28-year-old’s weakest surface until this season, and Konta showcased her improvement spectacularly by beating Sloane Stephens, Venus Williams and Kiki Bertens to reach the final of the Italian Open in Rome last weekend. The run lifted her back into the world’s top 30 just in time to be seeded at Roland Garros, where her first priority will be to avoid an opening-round defeat for the fifth successive year.

Kyle Edmund has lost his last five matches

After his exceptional season in 2018, this has been something of a horror year for Edmund so far. A knee injury that ruled him out for more than a month got the season off on the wrong foot and he has been playing catch-up ever since. Edmund is unusual among British players in being perfectly at home on clay but the 24-year-old arrives in Paris having lost five straight matches, with just one clay-court victory to his name in early April. He looks short on confidence and has ranking points to defend having reached the third round for the last two years.

In contrast to Edmund, it has been a fine year so far for British number two Norrie. The 23-year-old is at a career-high ranking of 41 and could well overtake Edmund in the near future despite having only turned professional two years ago. He reached his first ATP Tour final in January in Auckland and is learning quickly how to play well on clay. He reached the second round on his debut at Roland Garros last year and pushed Lucas Pouille in defeat.

Dan Evans is looking for his first win at Roland Garros

This time last year Evans was battling through qualifying at a tournament in Loughborough with his ranking outside 1,000 having recently returned from a year-long ban for cocaine use. Now he is back in the top 100 and back in the main draw of a grand slam on ranking for the first time. Evans avoided clay for much of his career, with his game much better suited to faster surfaces, but he showed with a victory over Dusan Lajovic in qualifying in Rome that he can compete with leading players. His two previous appearances in Paris both ended with first-round defeats.

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