Top Seeds Federer, Gaudio, Moya See Action Monday at French Open

Posted on May 23, 2005

World No. 1 Roger Federer begins his quest for a first French Open title Monday at Roland Garros, joined on court by standouts Rafael Nadal, defending champion Gaston Gaudio, former champ Carlos Moya, and last year's serve-and-volleying semifinalist Tim Henman.

"The number of times I finished the points at the net (last year) was very high," said Henman, who this year will again look to press the issue at the net. "Even (Pete) Sampras didn't manage that. I was aggressive on my opponent's serves. I always had the skills but never knew how to use them. Not thinking about the surface and my opponents was the big difference. I had fun. I'd love to look ahead and say I'll be in the semis in two weeks but what really matters is my first round."

Unfortunately Henman isn't scaring anyone after failing to reach a quarterfinal during the Roland Garros lead-up events.

Federer sent a warning to the rest of the field two weeks ago after winning his third career title at the Masters Series-Hamburg.

"All in all I'm very happy," Federer said. "It's a message from me to the other guys for the French Open."

Also on court will be No. 30 seed Richard Gasquet, with the French teen looking forward to a third-round meeting with Nadal.

"It's a fantastic opportunity and a great source of pride to be seeded and avoid a favorite in the first round," Gasquet said. "Having said that, playing a qualifier in my first game is tricky. My opponent will have nothing to lose and play full of confidence having won three straight to get here. I'll need to be on my guard but if I play as I know I can I should get through the first two rounds. I've seen the draw and the idea of taking on Rafael Nadal in the third round really excites me."

Kicking off Monday for the men are (1) Federer vs. Sela, (5) Gaudio vs. Julien "United Colors of" Benneteau, (23) Grosjean vs. Juan "The Principality" Monaco, (30) Gasquet vs. Daniele "Choppin'" Bracciali, (4) Rafael "The Prodigy" Nadal vs. Burgsmuller, (25) Fernando "Gonzo" Gonzalez vs. Llodra, (14) Moya vs. A.Martin in an all-Spanish, Luis "Me So" Horna vs. Haehnel, Ascione vs. Sanguinetti, (31) Juan Ignacio "The Spitting Snake" Chela vs. Rainer "Shine" Schuettler, Almagro vs. Kohlschreiber, (26) Novak vs. Phau, (18) Mario "Baby Goran" Ancic vs. Daniel, (20) Ferrer vs. Vanek, (16) Stepanek vs. Paradorn "The Thai Fighter" Srichaphan, (10) Nalbandian vs. Marcos "Bombs Over" Baghdatis, Pavel vs. Serra, (7) Henman vs. Brzezicki, Berdych vs. Jeff "The Lizard King" Morrison, Tursunov vs. Koubek, Peter "Nuclear" Wessels vs. Ricardo Mello "Yello," H.-T. Lee vs. Calatrava, Vik vs. K.Kim, Christophe "The Roach" Rochus vs. Behrend, O.Hernandez vs. Gimeno-Traver, Hanescu vs. Tabara, Armando vs. Vicente, Mantilla vs. Zib, (17) Dominik "The Dominator" Hrbaty vs. Tipsarevic, (33) Soderling vs. Fernando "Hot Sauce" Verdasco, Mardy "Silver" Fish vs. Xavier "X-Man" Malisse, and Simon vs. Olivier "All We Need is Just a Little" Patience in an all-French match-up.