French Open: Andy Murray breezes through, Lopez stunned
British third seed Andy Murray, twice a semi-finalist, who took his clay record this season to 11-0 with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 win over Argentine 'lucky loser' Facundo Arguello
Paris: British third seed Andy Murray, twice a semi-finalist, who took his clay record this season to 11-0 with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 win over Argentine 'lucky loser' Facundo Arguello.
Great Britain's Andy Murray returns the ball to Argentina's Facundo Arguello during the men's first round at the Roland Garros 2015 French Tennis Open in Paris. Pic/AFP
Murray, with claycourt titles in Munich and Madrid, goes on to face either Canadian world number 53 Vasek Pospisil or Portugal's 44th-ranked Joao Sousa. "Always the first round of the majors is tough and it was quite windy and difficult conditions at the start," said Murray. "I was a little bit nervous at the start but I like that, it shows that you care and want to do well."
World number four Tomas Berdych, a 2010 semi-finalist, continued his solid claycourt season with a 6-0, 7-5, 6-3 win over Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka, the world number 146. Berdych will now face 36-year-old Davis Cup-winning teammate Radek Stepanek, who became the oldest man to win a match at Roland Garros since 38-year-old Jimmy Connors in 1991 when he saw off Croatian journeyman Ivan Dodig 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 6-1.
Spain's 11th seed Feliciano Lopez was the biggest men's casualty when he lost to Russian world number 74 Teymuraz Gabashvili, 6-3, 7-6 (11/9), 6-3. Australia saw their three brightest prospects all make it to the second round. Nineteen-year-old wildcard Thanasi Kokkinakis defeated Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 while 27th seed Bernard Tomic saw off Italy's Luca Vanni 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Kokkinakis and Tomic will face off for a place in the third round where top seed Novak Djokovic will likely be waiting. Nick Kyrgios, the 29th-seeded Australian who beat Roger Federer in Madrid earlier this month, eased past Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-3, 6-4, 6-3. Spanish eighth seed Carla Suarez Navarro, a quarter-finalist in 2008 and 2014, beat Romania's Monica Niculescu 6-2, 6-2.
German 11th seed Angelique Kerber, the champion on clay in Charleston and Stuttgart, needed just 50 minutes to brush aside Timea Babos of Hungary 6-0, 6-1. Former world number one Victoria Azarenka, who missed last year's Roland Garros through injury, marked her return by beating Spain's MarÃa-Teresa TorrÃ³-Flor 6-2, 6-1.
Croatia's Ana Konjuh, the youngest woman in the draw at 17, made the next round with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Russian qualifier Margarita Gasparyan. Four American women exited although they were guaranteed a winner later in the day when 34-year-old Venus Williams, playing in her 18th Roland Garros, was meeting Sloane Stephens. Meanwhile, a record was set in the clash between Denisa Allertova of the Czech Republic and Britain's Johanna Konta. Their first set tiebreak, which went 19/17 in favour of the Czech, was the longest in tournament history.