It was business as somewhat-usual among the top seeds as world No. 1 Roger Federer took to the court on Monday at Roland Garros to open up his title defense, merry-go-rounding Australian Peter Luczak 6-4, 6-1, 6-2.
“If it was anyone else, I’d be getting pretty angry,” Luczak said after being put on a claycourt treadmill by the Swiss. “He just had me on a string and just was toying with me at the end. I think he was enjoying it.”
Federer was grateful for a smooth start after suffering through a dodgy claycourt season leading up to the French.
“The beginning is always important, coming back as defending champion and trying to get off to a good start,” Federer said. “It was a good first set for me, without any hiccups on my own serve. After that things were a bit easier. He had to push it a bit more. I could relax and towards the end I played some great dropshots. So it was a perfect match to start the French Open.”
Other Top 10-seeded winners on the day were (3) Novak Djokovic defeating Evgeny Korolev in four sets, and (4) Andy Murray coming from two sets down to defeat Richard Gasquet 6-1 in the fifth.
Djokovic says he hopes the allergy problem that made him retire during the Serbian Open is behind him.
“The thing is that this year has been a struggle for me because it was the first time that I had such a strong reaction, so the season or the spring already started, and you couldn’t do too much with it, so it’s still a little bit active, but it’s much less than it was in last two months,” Djokovic said. “So I’m happy that the tough period is behind me, and now I can focus on the court on what I do and try to do it best. For next year I will prepare myself better health-wise.”
Gasquet served for the match in the third set, but in the end showed neither the heart or fitness after coming off a title run at Nice to stop the Brit.
“I think he got a bit nervous towards the end of third set,” Murray said. “I had to keep fighting, he was completely outplaying me, and once I won that third set his head went down and I kind of ran away with it.”
Other seeded winners Monday were (12) Fernando Gonzalez, (13) Gael Monfils, (14) Ivan Ljubicic, (15) Tomas Berdych, (17) John Isner, (19) Nicolas Almagro in five over Robin Haase, (20) Stan Wawrinka, (24) Thomasz Bellucci, (25) Marcos Baghdatis, and (31) Victor Hanescu.
On the upset tip, German unknown Julian Reister surprised (27) Feliciano Lopez in straight sets, and Serb Viktor Troicki likewise straight-setted (21) Tommy Robredo.
In all-unseeded action, Spain’s Marcel Granollers advanced when the fragile Paul-Henri Mathieu retired in the third set citing digestive problems, American Taylor Dent straight-setted Nicolas Lapentti, Kei Nishikori came from two sets down to defeat Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo in five, Mardy Fish outlasted Michael Berrer in five, and American qualifier Michael Yani lost 12-10 in the fifth in a darkness-resumed match against Lukas Lacko.
Tuesday’s highlights at Roland Garros are (6) Andy Roddick vs. Jarkko Nieminen, (28) Lleyton Hewitt vs. France’s Jeremy Chardy, French unknown Gianni Mina attempting not to wet his pants against vs. (2) Rafael Nadal, (16) Juan Carlos Ferrero vs. Pablo Cuevas in an all-grinder, and Robby Ginepri vs. (18) Sam Querrey in an all-American.
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