Roger Federer, Stanislas Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and local favourite Jo Wilfred Tsonga led seven out of the nine seeds in action on Day 1 at the Roland Garros into the second round as the French Open got underway at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris on Sunday. The 2009 champion Federer easily dismissed the challenge of Colombian Alejandro Falla 6-3,6-3,6-4 but converted on only 4 of the 16 break point opportunities and was joined by Roberto Bautista Agut, Phillip Kohlschreiber and Ernest Gulbis, the man who defeated Federer last year. The 2014 Australian Open champion Wawrinka, Nishikori and Tsonga all had easy straight set wins. Marcos Baghdatis upset the 25th seeded Ivo Karlovic in straight sets while the American Steve Johnson thwarted the comeback of the 26th seed Guillermo Garcia Lopez to win in five sets in the only match that went the distance. Garcia Lopez who won titles in Zagreb and Bucharest this year rallied from two sets down but the American closed out the decider 6-3. On an uneventful day there were wins for the Frenchman Nicholas Mahut, Lucas Rosol of the Czech Republic, Spaniards Marcel Granollers and Pablo Andujar, Dudi Sela of Israel, Dusan Lajovic of Serbia and Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina who progressed when the veteran Russian Mikhail Youzhny retired in the second set.
Last year’s finalist Simona Halep of Romania is safely through to the second round after a shaky 7-5,6-4 win over the Russian Evgeniya Rodina. The 2008 champion Ana Ivanovic of Serbia overcame a slow start but finished strongly bageling her opponent Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan in the third set to win 4-6,6-2,6-0. Also advancing was the Russian Ninth seed Ekaterina Makarova.
The first Monday has a busy schedule of 30 men’s singles matches led by Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych. Here is a list of matches to be played by 14 seeded players in the men’s section with my picks mentioned first :-
Andy Murray (3) v. Fernando Arguello
Tomas Berdych (4) v. Yoshihito Nishioka
Feliciano Lopez (11) v. Teymuraz Gabashvili
Giles Simon (13) v. Lucas Pouille
Gael Monfils (14) v. Eduardo Roger Vasselin
David Goffin (17) v. Fillip Krajinovic
Tommy Robredo (18) v. Andrey Golubev
Pablo Cuevas (21) v. Sam Groth
Bernard Tomic (27) v. Luca Vanni
Fabio Fognini (28) v. Tatsumo Ito
Nick Kyrgios (29) v. Denis Istomin
Adrien Mannarino (30) v. Juergen Melzer
Victor Troicki (31) v. Jan Lennard Struff
Fernando Verdasco (32) v. Taro Daniel
In the women’s section defending champion Maria Sharapova opens up her title defence against Estonian Kaia Kanepi, also in action will the two former world number One Victoria Azarenka and the elder Williams sibling Venus. Former finalist Samantha Stosur of Australia and Sara Errani of Italy will also make their first appearance.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy.You can reach him at the email: firstname.lastname@example.org]