SoRaspy: Roddick exits French Open in opening round
PARIS — Andy Roddick exited in the opening round at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since 2007, losing to 88th-ranked Nicolas Mahut 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 Sunday at the French Open.
The 26th-seeded Roddick is 7-10 this season, 0-4 on clay.
Mahut hit more aces than Roddick, 13-8, and broke the American seven times, including in the last game.
Roddick won the 2003 U.S. Open, but only once made it to the fourth round at Roland Garros, in 2009. He’s lost in the first round in half of 10 trips, including 2007.
Mahut lost in the first round in Paris eight times in nine previous appearances. He is best known for losing the longest match in tennis history to John Isner, 70-68 in the fifth set at Wimbledon.
Meanwhile, Juan Martin del Potro advanced to the second round despite discomfort in his left knee, beating Albert Montanes 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-1.
The 2009 U.S. Open champion played with tape on his knee early in the match. The ninth-seeded del Potro then added wrapping after a massage from a trainer following the second set.
“It’s a problem when you can’t find your balance like you’re used to, but I’ll use these few days of rest to get better,” del Potro said. “If I go on the court, it’s because I feel good. I want to continue playing.”
Del Potro reached the semifinals at Roland Garros in 2009, but lost to eventual champion Roger Federer in five sets. A few months later, the Argentine defeated Federer in the U.S. Open final.
Fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the highest-seeded player in action Sunday, overcame a slow start to beat Andrey Kuznetsov of Russia 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.
Tsonga is trying to become the first Frenchman since Yannick Noah in 1983 to win the French Open. His best result at Roland Garros was reaching the fourth round in 2009 and 2010.
He reached the 2008 Australian Open final but lost to Novak Djokovic.
Federer and top-ranked Djokovic will be on court Monday, and Rafael Nadal is to begin his attempt for a record-breaking seventh French Open title Tuesday.
Fabio Fognini of Italy became the first man to advance, beating Adrian Mannarino of France 6-0, 7-5, 6-1. No. 21 Marin Cilic of Croatia was next, defeating Daniel Munoz-De la Nava of Spain 6-4, 6-4, 7-5.
Juan Carlos Ferrero, the 2003 French Open champion, beat Jonathan Dasnieres de Veigy of France 6-1, 6-4, 6-3. The 32-year-old Spaniard is one of 37 men in this year’s draw that is 30 or older, an Open era record for Grand Slam tournaments.
“I saw myself in the mirror, and when I walk on the court I don’t think about whether I’m younger or older. The only thing I try to do is play well,” Ferrero said. “And I’m at Roland Garros, and the idea is to play well today.”
The French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament that starts on Sunday. The other three all start on Monday.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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