The main draw of the French Open kicked off early Monday morning (eastern time) from Paris. This tournament is the only one to have the first round spread out to three days due to the limited courtspace. They were some very exciting matches and all the frenchman played their hearts out. Below is a brief summary of Round 1 with some things to look forward to in Round 2.
What is Happening to American tennis?
After Mardy Fish withdrew due to injury, there were only eight US entrants into the tournament. Just two were seeded (John Isner – 10, And Roddick – 26) After the first round, only three remain. One of those men is Jesse Levine. He was born and raised in Canada and plays other Canadian Milos Raonic tomorrow. Lets face it, there will be two left after that game (yes I’m a huge Raonic fan) thats not even considering 141 ranked, wildcard Brian Baker. He faces 11th seed and crowd favorite Gilles Simon who got past Ryan Harrison (AMERICAN KILLER!) in the first round 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-1. Andy Roddick was eliminated by another frenchman, Nicholas Mahut who still gives John Isner nightmares. It is fair to say that Isner is the USA’s only shot for this tournament. He was very good in his first round match, winning three sets to none. He will have a challenging match against Paul-Henri Mathieu (guess where he’s from) with the crowd totally against him next round. Look for that to be a very close one. Other American players eliminated in the first round are Donald Young, James Blake, and Sam Querrey.
The French are Moving on!
It always is exciting when the home crowd really has players to cheer for at majors. This year there were 17 French players in the main draw and amazingly enough, all but three are moving on to the second round. The players that did lost put up tremendous battles in front of the home crowd. Eric Prodon lost in four sets, Jonathan Dasnieres De Veigy and Guillaume Rufin put up a hard fights against Juan Carlos Ferrero and 13th seed Juan Monaco respectively. The French have four seeded players (Jo-Wilfred Tsonga -5, Gilles SImon-11, Richard Gasquet-17, Julien Benneteau -29) all advanced. Befor ethe tournament began, Gael Monfils pulled out due to injury. Nicholas Mahut took down 29th seed Andy Roddick in four sets. Other French players moving on are Nicholas Devilder, Arnaud Clement, Edouard Roger-Vasselin, Michael Llodra, Benoit Paire, Jeremy Chardy, and Florent Serra who advanced after Feliciano Lopez retired in their match.
Seeds have Success
After the first round, all but five seeds will be moving on to the next round. Alexandr Dolgopolov (16) was eliminated by fellow Ukranian Sergei Stakhovsky in five sets. Feliciano Lopez (15) retired to Florent Serra, from France midway through the first set. Radek Stepanek (23) also lost in five sets to Belgium native David Goffin. Jurgen Melzer lost in five sets to German Michael Berrer, and as you already know Nicolas Mahut got he better of Andy Roddick (29). These matches open doors for Richard Gasquet, Novak Djokovic (although that one was probably already wide open), and because Lopez and Stepanek were from the same part of the draw, that section is anyone’s game.
Top Three Matches of First Round
1- Sergei Stakovsky defeats Alexandr Dolgopolov (16) – 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-3. This was an outstanding game in which two countrymen went head to head. Stakovshy came out on top.
2- Kevin Anderson defeats Rui Machado – 7-6(2), 6-7(6), 4-6, 6-1, 11-9. This was a great match that went to extra games but the South African prevailed in the end.
3- Fernando Verdasco (14) defeats Steve Darcis – 2-6, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 8-6. The fourteenth seeden Spaniard avoided huge disappointment after beating the Belgian.
What About those Top Seeds?
(1) Novak Djokovic – Round 1 vs Potito Starace: 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-1. Round 2 vs Blaz Kavcic.
(2) Rafael Nadal – Round 1 vs Simone Bolelli: 6-2, 6-2, 6-1. Round 2 vs Denis Istomin.
(3) Roger Federer – Round 1 vs Tobias Kamke: 6-2, 7-5, 6-3. Round 2 vs Adrian Ungur.
(4) Andy Murray – Round 1 vs Tatsuma Ito: 6-1, 7-5, 6-0. Round 2 vs Jarkko Nieminen.
(5) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga – Round 1 vs Andrey Kunetsov: 1-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4. Round 2 vs Cedik-Marcel Stebe.
(6) David Ferrer – Round 1 vs Lukas Lacko: 6-3, 6-4, 6-1. Round 2 vs Benoit Paire.
(7) Tomas Berdych – Round 1 vs Dudi Sela: 6-3, 6-4, 6-1. Round 2 vs Michael Llodra.
(8) Janko Tipsarevec – Round 1 vs Sam Querrey: 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(3), 6-3. Round 2 vs Jeremy Chardy.
Come back Friday for your Round 2 Recap.