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KEY DATES FOR WIMBLEDON 2017

Qualifying begins: 26 June

The Draw: 30 June

Pre-event Press Conferences: 1 & 2 July

Order of Play: 2 July

Championships begin: 3 July

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Tuesday, 30 May 2017 17:22 PM BST
French Open Day 3: Murray, Halep progress but big names fall
Wimbledon.com rounds up the action from Day 3 at the 2017 French Open. READ MORE

Andy Murray and Simona Halep shrugged off pre-tournament concerns as they kicked off their campaigns for a first French Open title with victories on day three.

But it was also a day of upsets on the main Court Philippe Chatrier, where Rome Masters champion Alexander Zverev and the seventh-seeded Jo Konta both lost.

Murray off the mark

Men’s world No.1 Murray and women’s favourite Halep had both come to Paris with question marks over their condition.

Murray, a runner-up to Novak Djokovic last year, has endured a tough season hampered by injury and illness, and he struggled in the first two sets against Andrey Kuznetsov, whose hard, flat groundstrokes punched holes in his defence.

But at the start of the third set, Murray was galvanised by one stunning point. Having played a drop shot, the Scot had to turn and run back as the Russian played a deft lob volley over his head. Murray somehow got back, hoisted a high lob and the Russian netted a bounce smash.

From that moment on, it was all Murray as he began to open up on his forehand, dominating the rallies and never allowing Kuznetsov to get back into the match.

“I went on to break that game," said Murray, who won 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 6-0. "It was a good get. I thought when (his) lob went up, I thought that I wouldn't be able to reach it, but I did. I think he made a couple of simple errors after that. I got the break, and then obviously didn't look back from there."

The tale of the tape for Halep

The third-seeded Halep cruised past Slovakia’s Jana Cepelova, 6-2, 6-3, a little over a week after tearing an ankle ligament in the final of the Italian Open.  

“It’s pretty taped today and nothing is moving, so it’s safe,” Halep said.

Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina, whose four title wins this season have established her as a contender, is also through to the second round with a 6-4, 6-3 win over 2016 Wimbledon quarter-finalist Yaroslava Shvedova.

Next generation forced to wait

Widely touted as a future No.1, Alexander Zverev still has a lot to learn about playing for the sport’s biggest prizes.

The talented German, who is the youngest member of the world’s top 10 at 20 years old, was tipped as a possible title contender here in Paris after beating Djokovic for the title in Rome.

But never found his range in an error-strewn performance against Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Zverev, who made 50 errors, was brutally honest about his performance.

“I played absolute s***,” said Zverev, who has never got past the third round of any of the four Grand Slam events, and is yet to beat a top 50 player over five sets.

“In Rome I played fantastic, I won the tournament. Here I played bad, I lost first round. That's the way it goes."

At the more experienced end of the scale, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga remains in danger of a shock first round exit.

The popular Frenchman was forced to dig deep against Argentinian Renzo Olivo, recovering from 5-2 down in the fourth set before play was called for bad light with Olivo leading 7-5, 6-4, 6-7(6), 5-4.

Konta looks forward to the grass

Something about the clay at Roland Garros doesn’t agree with Jo Konta.

The Briton seemed to be en route to her first win in three appearances at Roland Garros after taking the first set against Su-Wei Hsieh of Chinese Taipei.

But Konta, who grew up in Australia at a time when there weren’t many clay courts, kept going for big shots even though she started to miss.

In the end, she got bamboozled by Hsieh's unorthodox slice-and-dice game, losing 1-6, 7-6(7-2), 6-4.

With just two Tour wins on clay this year, Konta is understandably eager to get back on the grass.

“I am looking forward to it, more so because I'll be at home,” said Konta, who will spend some time with her parents in Eastbourne before playing all three weeks before Wimbledon.

For world No.109 Hsieh, this constituted the first top 10 win of her career.

Now living in Paris with her French boyfriend, she will hope to continue her love affair with the capital against Taylor Townsend in the second round.

Del Potro returns

Former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro eased past countryman Guido Pella in straight sets in what was his first match at Roland Garros after five years of injury misery.

Although he reached the semi-final in 2009 and the last eight in 2012, Del Potro isn’t dreaming about doing big things just yet.

“I have adopted a sort of wait-and-see attitude,” said the Argentine, who underwent multiple surgeries to fix his wrist. “We'll see. I try not to make things too complicated, and I try not to set long-term objectives.

Best quote

Andy Murray’s press conferences aren’t always a riot, but his memories of a dinner he once had with Andre Agassi in a hotel in Las Vegas cracked everyone up.

“He opened the door but the door was like one of those big sort of handles so it goes right down to the bottom,” Murray said. “And he literally knelt, got on his knees to open the door right at the bottom of the handle.”

When Murray asked him what he was doing, Agassi said: “No one touches the door down there.” The Scot added: “He's a bit of a germaphobe. That was pretty strange.”

Shot of the day

While Gael Monfils recorded a straight-sets victory over his fellow showman Dustin Brown, the pair combined to produce some customary fireworks...

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