Andy Roddick slumped to a fifth French Open first round defeat yesterday when the injury-plagued American lost 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 to France’s Nicolas Mahut. Former US Open champion Roddick, who has never got beyond the third round in Paris in 10 visits, came into Roland Garros having made his season’s European claycourt bow only in Dusseldorf last week where he lost all three matches.
Now ranked at 29 in the world, Roddick has been battling hamstring problems for most of the year. World 88 Mahut has now equalled his best French Open performance having also made the second round in 2010. The 30-year-old will tackle either Canada’s Frank Dancevic or Martin Klizan of Slovakia for a place in the last 32. Meanwhile, home hope Jo-Wilfried Tsonga struggled under the weight of expectations while dangerman Juan Martin Del Potro shrugged off an injury scare. Fifth-seeded Tsonga, the highest-ranked player in action, overcame a worrying first set wobble to beat Russian qualifier Andrey Kuznetsov 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.
Ninth seed Del Potro, the Argentine who won the 2009 US Open, having made the semi-finals here in the same year, saw off Spanish veteran Albert Montanes 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 6-1 in a shade over three hours. He will tackle France’s Edouard Roger-Vasselin for a place in the last 32.
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