Nieminen relishing Murray clash
Jarkko Nieminen will head into his second-round clash against Andy Murray at the French Open full of confidence.
Although the Finn has lost his previous three meetings with the world No.4, this will be their first clash on clay.
And Nieminen, who has climbed to 48 in the rankings this year and won the ATP Tour event in Sydney in January, feels he is playing as well as he ever has.
The 30-year-old said: "I'm very happy with my form. I've had extremely good preparation, I've stayed healthy and I've played really good tennis.
"I feel like I've played my best tennis in practice. I tried not to expect too much, just to enjoy my good form, and hopefully I can keep it up."
Nieminen has enjoyed his best results at other grand slams, reaching the quarter-finals of the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open during his career, although he did beat Andre Agassi at Roland Garros in 2005.
Nieminen's most recent match against Murray came at Wimbledon two years ago and he is looking forward to trying his luck on a different surface.
"I've played him on hard and grass so it's nice to challenge him on clay," said Nieminen. "I feel very good on clay at the moment.
"I know he can play really well on clay as well. If the weather stays like this, the conditions are very fast, and I think he likes that as well.
"He's obviously one of the top four players and one of the favourites for the tournament. It's a great challenge for me to get to play him again. It will be on a big court, which is always nice, and I'm looking forward to it."
Murray is wary of the talents of Nieminen, who, unlike his first-round opponent Tatsuma Ito, will be very much a known quantity.
"I've practised with him on clay before, and I've always normally enjoyed playing against left handers," said the Scot.
"He's got a lot of experience, and he's won some good matches here in the past. He's not scared of causing an upset."
Heather Watson is also in second-round action, the British No.3 taking on 25th seed Julia Goerges of Germany in the final match on Court 2, while Rafael Nadal meets Denis Istomin and Maria Sharapova takes on Ayumi Morita.