French Open Readies to Really Get Going on Day 2
A day after the tournament began, the French Open is really about to get started.
The opening day at Roland Garros featured 32 matches on eight courts, with three seeded players already falling by the wayside.
But on Monday interest is expected to really pick up with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer both on court. Djokovic, who is 37-0 in 2011, will face Thiemo de Bakker of the Netherlands and 2009 champion Federer is scheduled to play Feliciano Lopez of Spain.
For the women, defending champion Francesca Schiavone is set to play American Melanie Oudin, and top-ranked Dane Caroline Wozniacki is scheduled to take on 40-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan.
The French Open is the only one of the four Grand Slam tournaments to begin on Sunday, and not everyone likes it all that much.
"It's very weird playing on Sunday," said 13th-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 2009 champion who reached the second round by beating Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-2, 6-3.
"For me, it's the first time. But I believe it's more money to Grand Slam so it's more spectators, probably."
Besides Kuznetsova, 2010 finalist Sam Stosur advanced on a warm day in Paris. The eighth-seeded Australian was broken in the opening game, then had little trouble beating Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-3.
Stosur also thought it was strange to start on Sunday.
"It's just different," Stosur said. "You've got an extra day, but I think with all the others not doing it, it definitely is a bit of, not a shock, but it's just weird knowing that, OK, my tournament starts on Sunday and then I think you get two days off now."
No. 10 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, No. 14 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia, No. 17 Julia Goerges of Germany, and No. 32 Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria also advanced.
Two seeded women lost, No. 19 Shahar Peer of Israel and No. 18 Flavia Pennetta of Italy, and one man, No. 19 Marin Cilic of Croatia.
The 19th-seeded Cilic, who reached the fourth round at the Australian Open, is a former top-10 player. But he had 67 unforced errors in the match and was broken five times in losing to Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo of Spain 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-4.
For Ramirez Hidalgo, it was only his fourth win in 15 Grand Slam tournaments. Besides reaching the fourth round at the 2006 French Open, the Spaniard lost in the first round in each of his other 13 appearances at the four biggest tournaments on the tennis circuit.
"It's my greatest victory this season, that's for sure," the 33-year-oldsaid. "I would not say this is the beginning of a new career, because I'm too old for this, but it's a kind of relief."
Other men's winners included No. 7 David Ferrer of Spain, No. 14 Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka, No. 17 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, No. 30 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain and No. 31 Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine.
"I expected, like every year, the first match not to be too easy," said Wawrinka, who beat Augustin Gensse of France 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. "I was a bit slow. I took some time before I got into the match. In the first round, it's never so easy."