Thirty is the new 20 in men’s tennis.
So it was apropos that 33-year-old Fernando Verdasco brought the hot sauce on Tuesday at the French Open, defeating Masters Rome champion and No. 9-seeded Roland Garros dark horse Alexander Zverev 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.
“It’s my 14th year,” a jubilant Verdasco told the crowd afterwards. “It’s a pleasure for me to be playing here still. I’ve been practicing very hard, and a little bit of that work came through.”
Also upset-minded was South Korea’s Chung Hyeon, who shocked No. 27 Sam Querrey 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Top 10-seeded winners through on the day were No. 1 Andy Murray working past Russian Andrey Kuznetsov 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 6-0; No. 3 Stan Wawrinka straight-setting Slovak Jozef Kovalik 6-2, 7-6(6), 6-3; and No. 8 Kei Nishikori coming from a set down to beat Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4.
Murray took a while to settle-in during a four-set win over the Russian Kuznetsov.
“It was better towards the end,” Murray said. “Some of the shots are a lot easier to play when you’re two sets to one and 5-0 up…I was just trying to get through the match. I certainly wasn’t finding it funny.”
Stan says he’s happy after the first round.
“I’m happy with the match today, in general,” Wawrinka said. “I think it was never an easy transition after winning [in Geneva] on Saturday. I think I’m playing well. I’ve got some matches, some wins, and then you find your confidence, you start to play better.”
Nishikori was also happy after stopping an early run from the perpetually-injured Aussie Kokkinakis.
“It wasn’t perfect match, but, still, I think for the first match, it was a good start to the tournament,” Nishikori said after winning in four. “Today was a tough match. I think he played well.”
Other seeded winners on the day were No. 13 Tomas Berdych beating German Jan-Lennard Struff in four, No. 15 Gael Monfils beating German Dustin Brown in straights, No. 18 Nick Kyrgios showboating past Philipp Kohlschreiber in straights, No. 21 John Isner beating Aussie Jordan Thompson in four, and No. 29 Juan Martin del Potro topping Guido Pella 6-2, 6-1, 6-4.
For the oft-injured Del Potro it was his first win at Roland Garros in five years.
“It’s never easy when you have to play a friend, a guy like Guido,” said Del Potro, who will next meet claycourt veteran Nicolas Almagro. “[Roland Garros] is an amazing tournament for Argentinian people, and I love to be playing this tournament again after five years.”
Almagro said, “Del Potro will try to dictate play with his forehand. I’ll try to counter him. I will try and play to his backhand. I will be very aggressive. This is my style of tennis, to be aggressive.”
Kyrgios afterwards spoke about his new coach, former French pro Sebastien Grosjean.
“He’s the type of guy that cares about my well-being first rather than just tennis results,” said Kyrgios. “He knows I need my space at times and he knows how to deal with me. Obviously it’s hard for me when we’re on the practice court having someone in my ear. He doesn’t say a lot, just positive things. I tend to be very negative with a lot of chats to myself and it’s not really positive chat. I get pretty internal at times, and he tells me to focus on things. I guess that’s what I struggle with. So to have him keep reminding me what to do is helping.”
Roland Garros on Wednesday features (4) Rafael Nadal vs. Robin Haase, (11) Grigor Dimitrov vs. Tommy Robredo, and (25) Steve Johnson vs. Borna Coric.
WEDNESDAY FRENCH OPEN SCHEDULE
Venus Williams (USA)  vs. Kurumi Nara (JPN)
To Finish: Tsonga vs. Olivo
Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP)  vs.Anett Kontaveit (EST)
Robin Haase (NED) vs. Rafael Nadal (ESP) 
Lucas Pouille (FRA)  vs. Thomaz Bellucci (BRA)
Dominic Thiem (AUT)  vs. Simone Bolelli (ITA)
Joao Sousa (POR) vs. Novak Djokovic (SRB) 
Sara Errani (ITA) vs. Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 
Ons Jabeur (TUN) vs. Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 
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