Tsonga survives hiccup

2012-05-27 19:53

Paris - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga made the Paris spectators happy when he recovered from a first-set loss to move into the second round of the French Open on Sunday's first day.

Minutes later, Nicolas Mahut doubled the home fans' delight when he joined his fellow Frenchman in the next round after a four-set defeat of American Andy Roddick.

World No 5 Tsonga, the highest seed in action on the opening day, beat Russian qualifier Andrey Kuznetsov 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, waking up after a slow start on the Philippe Chatrier court to earn a standing ovation at the end.

Mahut, who had lost eight times in the Roland Garros first round before this year, looked vulnerable again when, having strapped up his left knee, he dropped the third set, but he came back to take the match 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.

Argentine Juan Martin del Potro also overcame a knee injury in beating Spaniard Albert Montanes 6-2, 6-7(5/7), 6-2, 6-1.

The ninth-seeded Del Potro, who won the Estoril Open on clay three weeks ago, said problems with his knee had started after his semi-final defeat at the Madrid Open two weeks ago.

"I'm still working with the physio every day, trying to recover," the 2009 US Open winner told a news conference.

"I'm glad to go through - I will have two days to work with the physio on my knee. So I have time to recover and to be in good shape for the next match."

Former champion Juan Carlos Ferrero knocked out battling local player, and Roland Garros debutant, Jonathan Dasnieres de Veigy 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 in bright sunshine on the Suzanne Lenglen Court.

The 25-year-old Frenchman, cheered heartily by fans in the half-full stands, needed two bouts of treatment on his serving arm at changeovers and saved two match points before putting a forehand long on the third. 

Spaniard Ferrero, who at 32 is one of the more seasoned campaigners in the men's draw, was not entirely happy with his performance but he said his age did not bother him.

"When I walk on the court I don't think whether I am young or old, the only thing I try to do is play well," the world No 44 and the winner here in 2003 told a news conference.

Ferrero will now play Marin Cilic after the Croatian defeated Spain's Daniel Munoz 6-4, 6-4, 7-5.

Ana Ivanovic, the 2008 French champion, blew kisses to the crowd after making short work of Spanish qualifier Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino in her opening match.

The Serbian former world No 1, seeded 13th, finished off a 59-minute 6-1, 6-1 demolition with an ace.

Australian Samantha Stosur, seeded sixth, was also in a hurry, taking just over an hour to dismiss Britain's Elena Baltacha 6-4 6-0.

Stosur, runner-up here in 2010, was happy to be back on red clay in Paris after players criticised the blue clay surface introduced at the Madrid Open this month, saying it was slippery.

"It's nice to be on a real clay court again and actually feel like you can play more clay court tennis," Stosur told a news conference. "I think that's one of the things that's probably annoyed a lot of people is that you're on a clay court but you can't play real clay court tennis.

Top seeds Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka will be in action on Monday, along with Roger Federer, starting his quest for a 17th Grand Slam title.

Results from the first day of the 2012 French Open at Roland Garros on Sunday (x denotes seeded player):


First round

Nicolas Devilder (FRA) bt Filip Krajinovic (SRB) 6-2, 6-2, 6-0
Michael Berrer (GER) bt Jurgen Melzer (AUT x30) 6-7 (5/7), 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3
Gilles Muller (LUX) bt Igor Sijsling (NED) 2-6, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 8-6
Fernando Verdasco (ESP x14) bt Steve Darcis (BEL) 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (7/4)
Pablo Andjar (ESP) bt Victor Hanescu (ROM) 6-1, 2-6, 1-6, 6-3, 6-1
Stanislas Wawrinka (SWI x18) bt Flavio Cipolla (ITA) 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 3-6, 6-2
Fabio Fognini (ITA) bt Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 6-0, 7-5, 6-1
Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (GER) bt Joao Souza (BRA) 6-3, 2-0 - retired
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA x5) bt Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4
Nicolas Mahut (FRA) bt Andy Roddick (USA x26) 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
Juan Martn Del Potro (ARG x9) bt Albert Montas (ESP) 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 6-1
Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) bt Vasek Pospisil (CAN) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2
Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP) bt Jonathan Dasnires de Veigy (FRA) 6-1, 6-4, 6-3
Marin Cilic (CRO x21) bt Daniel Muoz (ESP) 6-4, 6-4, 7-5


First round

Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) bt Heidi El Tabakh (CAN) 7-5, 6-2
Lucie Safarova (CZE x20) bt Anastasiya Yakimova (BLR) 6-2, 6-0
Mara Jos Martnez (ESP) bt Eva Birnerov (CZE) 4-6, 6-4, 8-6
Mathilde Johansson (FRA) bt Anastasia Rodionova (AUS) 5-7, 7-6 (8/6), 6-4
Irina Falconi (USA) bt Edina Gallovits (ROM) 3-6, 6-3, 6-1
Samantha Stosur (AUS x6) bt Elena Baltacha (GBR) 6-4, 6-0
Venus Williams (USA) bt Paula Ormaechea (ARG) 4-6, 6-1, 6-3
Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS x26) bt Mirjana Lucic (CRO) 6-1, 6-3
Sara Errani (ITA x21) bt Casey Dellacqua (AUS) 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
Melanie Oudin (USA) bt Johanna Larsson (SWE) 6-3, 6-3
Shahar Peer (ISR) bt Stphanie Dubois (CAN) 6-2, 6-2
Ana Ivanovic (SRB x13) bt Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) 6-1, 6-1
Angelique Kerber (GER x10) bt Shuai Zhang (CHN) 6-3, 6-4
Irena Pavlovic (FRA) bt Kai-Chen Chang (TPE) 6-4, 7-5