Former No. 1 and French Open champ Gustavo Kuerten, hobbled by hip injuries and surgeries over the past few years, played his final French Open Sunday with a straight-set loss to No. 18 seed Paul-Henri Mathieu.
Now another former No. 1 and French Open champ, Carlos Moya, has to wonder how much time he has left after a first-round exit in five sets to unheralded Eduardo Schwank.
The only other upset of the day was unseeded Ecuadorian Nicolas Lapentti upending No. 32 Janko Tipsarevic in four sets.
Without Andy Roddick in the draw, No. 7 seed James Blake held up the American flag with a straight-set win over former Australian Open finalist Rainer Schuettler.
“We set the bar low enough (last year) that we are over it by 3 p.m. on Sunday afternoon,” said Blake of the early American exits at the French last year. “It was a tough situation last year, but now maybe it’s just like playing with house money this year. We all feel like last year was an aberration that should never happen again and we are definitely looking for better results.”
Other Top 10-seeded winners were (3) Novak Djokovic (d. Denis Gremelmayr in four sets), (6) David Nalbandian (d. Carlos Berlocq), and (10) Andy Murray (d. Jonathan Eysseric in five). Murray has been fighting off an illness entering the event.
Kuerten exited the event a three-time career champ.
“Here, it is my life, my passion and my love,” Kuerten told the audience in French. “It’s great to have my family here, my coach. But more important was the love you gave me.”
Highlights of Monday play are (12) Tommy Robredo vs. former Roland Garros runner-up Guillermo Coria, (1) Roger Federer vs. Sam Querrey, an all-French match-up in Florent Serra vs. the fragile (8) Richard Gasquet, (9) Stan Wawrinka vs. Philipp Kohlschreiber, and Mario “Baby Goran” Ancic vs. (31) Andreas Seppi.
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