Kyle Edmund best British hope in Paris

Kyle Edmund: Faces teenager.
Kyle Edmund: Faces teenager.
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BEVERLEY’S Kyle Edmund will play Australian teenager Alex de Minaur in the first round of the French Open, which starts on Sunday in Paris.

The British No 1 is seeded 16th and, in the absence of the injured Andy Murray, represents his country’s best hopes of an extended run at Roland Garros after recently breaking into the world’s top 20 for the first time.

Britain’s other representative in the men’s singles, Cameron Norrie, has been rewarded for making a grand slam main draw for the first time by being paired with Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal is chasing an 11th title and will begin his campaign against Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov.

His great rival Novak Djokovic will hope to put injury and poor form behind him when he takes on a yet-to-be-decided qualifier.

British women’s No 1 Johanna Konta will also hope for better fortunes after a disappointing start to the year when she faces first-round opponent Yulia Putintseva from Kazakhstan.

Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko will open her defence of the women’s title against Ukrainian Kateryna Kozlova and Britain’s other representative in the women’s singles’ draw, world No 86 Heather Watson, faces France’s Oceane Dodin.

Former world No 1 Serena Williams, unseeded and making her first grand slam appearance since the 2017 Australian Open after giving birth to her daughter, faces a tough test against world No 6 Karolina Pliskova.

Simona Halep, the current world No 1 and top seed, has an opening-round match against American Alison Riske.

Argentina’s Nicolas Kicker has been found guilty of match-fixing and “other offences”, the Tennis Integrity Unit have announced.

Kicker, world No 84, has yet to be punished, but has been suspended after the findings of an independent anti-corruption hearing officer.

The 25-year-old faces sanctions in connection with two ATP Challenger matches in 2015.

A TIU statement said: “Mr Kicker, 25, was found guilty of contriving the outcome of a match at the ATP Challenger tournament in Padova, Italy, in June 2015 and a match at the ATP Challenger tournament in Baranquilla, Colombia, in September 2015.

“He was also found guilty of failing to report a corrupt approach and of not co-operating with a TIU investigation into the allegations made against him.”