No. 3 seed and defending champ Stan Wawrinka couldn’t have drawn a tougher first-round opponent than upset specialist Lukas Rosol, who won the first set then worked the Swiss to the brink on Monday at Roland Garros. Wawrinka eventually prevailing in five sets 4-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
“Really tough match today,” said Wawrinka, who had beaten Rosol days earlier in the Geneva semifinals. “He was playing really well. He was going for his shot. (He) didn’t miss much until he started to get a little bit tired in the fourth set and fifth. But before that I was always under pressure.”
Wawrinka’s victim in last weekend’s Geneva final, No. 10 seed Marin Cilic, was not so lucky as the Croat fell in his first round match in Paris to unheralded Argentine Marco Trungelliti 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.
A shocker that has not yet come to conclusion is 37-year-old qualifier Radek “The Worm” Stepanek leading No. 2 seed Andy Murray 6-3, 6-3, 0-6, 2-4, when the match was called due to darkness. The delay will give hope to Stepanek, who had run out of gas on Monday after his quick start.
Other Top 10-seeded winners Monday were No. 5 Kei Nishikori beating Simone Bolelli 6-1, 7-5, 6-3 in a match carried over from the previous day, and No. 8 Milos Raonic who straight-setted injury comeback player Janko Tipsarevic 6-3, 6-2, 7-6(5).
“I was able to move on and really give myself something to prepare for in the next match and to be better,” said the oft-injured Raonic. “I’m in good shape. I feel physically strong and I have no nagging issues to start the tournament, which is nice.”
Nishikori sees himself as a title threat after an above-average claycourt season leading up to Roland Garros.
“I really feel confident, especially these past three years. I have won Barcelona two times. Couldn’t defend this title this year, but I have been beating Top 10 guys on clay,” said Nishikori, who will next meet Andrey Kuznetsov. “But on clay, I think the biggest challenge is beating Rafa and Novak and Andy, too. I think that’s my next challenge.”
Other seeded players into the second round Monday were No. 16 Gilles Simon, No. 22 Viktor Troicki who outlasted Grigor Dimitrov in five sets, No. 23 Jack Sock who beat Robin Haase in five, No. 27 Ivo Karlovic, and No. 30 Jeremy Chardy.
Sock will next meet the upset specialist Dustin Brown of Germany, who outlasted Dudi Sela 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-4.
Another mild upset was Spanish veteran Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco straight-setting No. 33 seed Steve Johnson 7-5, 6-4, 7-5.
Other notable all-unseeded results were Brit riser Kyle Edmund topping Nikoloz Basilashvili in four, wildcard Bjorn Fratangelo winning the all-American battle against Sam Querrey in four, and Croat Ivan Dodig sending out veteran Mikhail Youzhny in five.
Tuesday’s matches of note at Roland Garros include (2) Murray vs. The Worm to finish, (1) Novak Djokovic vs. Yen-Hsun Lu, (4) Rafael Nadal vs. the giant-serving Sam Groth, (7) Tomas Berdych vs. Vasek Popsicle, Borna Coric vs. Taylor Fritz in a battle of young risers, and (24) Philipp Kohlschreiber vs. Nicolas Almagro.
TUESDAY FRENCH OPEN SCHEDULE
Philippe-Chatrier Court 11:00 AM Start
Angelique Kerber (GER) vs. Kiki Bertens (NED)
Radek Stepanek (CZE) vs. Andy Murray (GBR) To Finish 6-3 6-3 0-6 2-4
Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs. Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE)
Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)
Serena Williams (USA) vs. Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK)
Suzanne-Lenglen Court 11:00 AM Start
Francesca Schiavone (ITA) vs. Kristina Mladenovic (FRA)
Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs. Sam Groth (AUS)
Oceane Dodin (FRA) vs. Ana Ivanovic (SRB)
David Ferrer (ESP) vs. Evgeny Donskoy (RUS)
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