French Open 2014: Andy Murray and Heather Watson headline Thursday's action

Last Updated: 28/05/14 10:06pm

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The Brits are back in action at the French Open on Thursday as Andy Murray and Heather Watson lead the charge on the Bullring as they aim to reach the third round in Paris.

Murray takes on the man nicknamed 'Mad Dog' - Marinko Matosevic, and then straight after on Court One, Watson faces a tough task to reach the last 32 against fourth seed Simona Halep.

The Wimbledon champion won a scrappy contest against Andrey Golubev in four sets to mark his return to the tournament for the first time in two years.

Murray, who missed the tournament 12 months ago with back problems, got bogged down in heavy conditions and dropped the third set before recovering to win 6-1 6-4 3-6 6-3.

His opponent Matosevic has a cult following in Australia, largely because of his tendency for on-court histrionics.

He finally made it lucky 13 at trying to win a main draw match at a Grand Slam when he came from 5-1 down in the fourth set to defeat Dustin Brown, and celebrated exuberantly by rolling around in the clay.

Bosnia-born Matosevic and Murray have played once before, in the third round at Queen's, which the Scot won 6-2 6-2 before going on to clinch the title.

Murray said: "He's a good ball striker. He's had some good wins on the tour. He's maybe been a bit up and down but he can play good tennis. He's a strong guy. It will be tough."

Tough task

Also in second round action will be Watson, who faces a very tough ask against Halep from Romania, who closed 2013 by winning the first six titles of her career.

"He's a good ball striker. He's had some good wins on the tour. He's maybe been a bit up and down but he can play good tennis. He's a strong guy. It will be tough."
Andy Murray

Watson is in good form, though, and will look to make it ten victories in a row after winning a title in Prague and coming through qualifying here, and is already guaranteed to reclaim the British No 1 spot from Laura Robson at the end of the tournament.

It is a far cry from last season, when Watson struggled with glandular fever that led to a loss of confidence as she was barely able to win a match.

On Court Philippe Chatrier, top seed and world No 1 Rafael Nadal takes on promising Austrian Dominic Thiem.

The exits of Grigor Dimitrov, Nicolas Almagro and Tommy Haas has opened up the eight-time champion's quarter of the draw, but he faces 20-year-old Thiem, who is regarded as one of the most talented young players in the game.

French favourites Richard Gasquet and Gael Monfils both take to the stage, while last's year's finalist David Ferrer is also in action.

On the women's side, Li Na's conqueror Kristina Mladenovic takes on Alison Riske, while her American compatriot Sloane Stephens faces 62nd-ranked Polona Hercog from Slovenia.

Serbian 11th seed Ana Ivanovic is also in action against Elina Svitolina from Ukraine.

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