Federer, Nadal, 15 of 16 Seeds Win at French Open

Posted on May 24, 2005

World No. 1 Roger Federer led the seeds on Day One at the French Open, beginning his march to a potential career-first Roland Garros title with a dominating 6-1, 6-4, 6-0 performance against Israeli qualifier Dudi "Where's my Car?" Sela.

"We had to play through sunshine, rain, wind and everything," said Federer, who also dealt with an opponent giving him different looks throughout the match, one minute standing inside the baseline, then 10 feet behind. "So there was a little bit of everything here. Made it tough. You know, balls were quick. Then, you know, new balls -- the balls we're very slow after the rain, and new balls come, so you have to always adjust."

While defending runner-up Guillermo Coria was not in action, another of the "Big Three" punched his second round ticket, with No. 4 seed Rafael Nadal, competing in his first French Open, rolling over Germany's Lars Burgsmuller 6-1, 7-6(4), 6-1.

Nadal found himself down 1-3 in the second-set tiebreaker, saying afterwards he wasn't at his best.

"I want to play my best tennis here," said Nadal, who has now won 18 matches in a row during the claycourt stretch. "It is not easy. I can't play well every match. I need to improve a lot of my tennis for next days."

All French eyes were on No. 30-seeded hope Richard Gasquet, who looked like he might be heading for a fourth consecutive Roland Garros opening-round loss against Italian lucky loser Daniele Bracciali before rebounding 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.

"I was seeing that around me everybody was panicking," Gasquet said. "It was difficult for me. I saw my coach and my father putting on faces. For me, it was very bad. I was not feeling good. I can't say otherwise. But then I started fighting and I played better and better. He went down a little bit, so I enjoyed myself a little bit from then on."

Other seeded winners were defending champ (5) Gaston Gaudio (d. Benneteau, bagel in the second), (7) Tim Henman (d. (LL) Brzezicki), (10) David Nalbandian (d. Baghdatis after dropping the first set 0-6), former champ (14) Carlos Moya (d. countryman A.Martin after dropping the first), (16) Radek Stepanek (d. Srichaphan after dropping the first), (18) Mario Ancic (d. (Q) Daniel), (20) David Ferrer (d. Vanek, bagel in the fourth), (23) Sebastien Grosjean (d. Monaco), (25) Fernando Gonzalez (d. Llodra), (26) Jiri Novak (d. Phau after losing the first), (31) Juan Ignacio Chela (d. Schuettler after losing the first), and (33) Robin Soderling (d. Verdasco, who blew a 2-0 set lead).

In the only upset of the day, Serb Janko Tipsarevic outlasted (17) Dominik Hrbaty 8-6 in the fifth.

Qualifiers and wildcards fared well Monday, with five advancing in Czech (Q) Robin Vik (d. K.Kim), Spanish (Q) Fernando Vicente (d. (LL) Armando in five), German (Q) Tomas Behrend (d. C.Rochus after dropping the first), and French wildcards Florent Serra (d. Pavel) and Olivier Patience (d. (WC) Simon in four).

Other un-seeds into the second round were Belgian Xavier Malisse (d. Fish, dropping only four games), Czech Tomas Berdych (d. Morrison), Dutchman Peter Wessels (d. Mello), Peru's Luis Horna (d. Haehnel), Italian Davide Sanguinetti (d. (WC) Ascione from 0-2 sets down), Spaniards Nicolas Almagro (d. Kohlschreiber to set up a meeting with Federer), Oscar Hernandez (d. countryman (Q) Gimeno-Traver in four) and Felix Mantilla (d. Zib), Russian Dmitry Tursunov (d. Koubek after dropping the first), and Romanian Victor Hanescu (d. Tabara in four).

The match between Korea's Hyung-Taik Lee and Spain's Alex Calatrava on Monday was suspended due to darkness at two sets all.

On court Tuesday at Roland Garros are (6) Agassi vs. (Q) Nieminen, (2) Roddick vs. (WC) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, (3) Safin vs. "Everybody Loves" Raemon Sluiter, (9) Canas vs. (WC) Gael "Force" Monfils, (24) Feliciano "F-Lo" Lopez vs. Mathieu, (8) Guillermo "El Mago" Coria vs. Carlsen, Santoro vs. Hernych, Kuerten vs. D.Sanchez, (13) Ljubicic vs. Puerta, (27) Volandri vs. Saulnier, (29) Youzhny vs. Muller, (19) T.Johansson vs. Draper, (12) Davydenko vs. (Q) Tuksar, (28) Kiefer vs. "Dr." Ivo Karlovic, (Q) Dupuis vs. (Q) Vliegen, (22) Massu vs. 2003 junior champion (Q) Wawrinka, (32) Ferrero vs. Beck, (WC) Clement vs. Alexander "My Serve Has" Popp, Jurgen "Tuna" Melzer vs. Wayne "The Serving Machine" Arthurs, "Grinning" Greg Rusedski vs. (LL) Flavio "Of the Day" Saretta, Guillermo "G-Lo" Garcia-Lopez vs. Olivier "The Roach" Rochus, Montanes vs. Sargsian, Enqvist vs. (Q) Dlouhy, Acasuso vs. Max "The Beast" Mirnyi, (Q) Chris "Penthouse" Guccione vs. Ventura, (Q) Djokovic vs. Ginepri, Bjorkman vs. Andreev, (Q) Tenconi vs. (Q) Blake, D.Norman vs. (LL) Lisnard, (21) Haas vs. Mayer in an all-German, (15) Robredo vs. (WC) Luczak, and Spadea vs. Costa.