Roddick Ousted by French Nobody at Roland Garros

Posted on May 27, 2004

No. 2 seed Andy Roddick was ousted Wednesday at the French Open, outlasted in five sets by inspired Frenchman Olivier Mutis 3-6, 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-2.

"It's tough when we're sitting there for 45 minutes and they decide not to put a cover on the court, it's just raining there," said Roddick about the slow conditions. "That makes it really difficult, especially for me. You know, I said at the beginning, I needed a hard court, you know. My balls just weren't -- they weren't penetrating through the court today."

Roddick had beaten Mutis on the red clay at Houston, but seemed hesitant in his ability to take control during their five-setter.

"There's no doubt he has great hands," Roddick said. "You know, that's evident right away. He was faster than I thought today. You know, I don't remember him being that quick." While the result was disappointing for Roddick, it did best his 2003 opening-round loss.

Other seeds ousted on the day were (13)Paradorn Srichaphan (l. to Corretja, that made the Tennis-X staff a collective wad of cash on the betting sites), (21)Andrei Pavel (l. to Youzhny in five), (27)Vince Spadea (l. to Jeanpierre), (30)Mariano Zabaleta (l. to Mario "Baby Goran" Ancic in four), and (31)Dominik Hrbaty (l. to "Everybody Loves" Raemon Sluiter in four).

Other seeded winners were (3)Guillermo "El Mago" Coria (d. Monaco), (5)Carlos Moya (d. Vicente), (9)Tim Henman (d. Burgsmuller), (11)Nicolas Massu (d. Voltchkov), (17)Tommy Robredo (d. Garcia-Lopez in four), and (22)Juan Ignacio Chela (d. Verdasco).

Other un-seeds into the third round were Argentine Gaston Gaudio (d. Canas in a five-set all-Argentine encounter), Michael Llodra (d. Agassi-killer Haehnel in a four-set all-French affair), "Julio &" Galo Blanco (d. Luis "Me So" Horna in five), the resilient Fabrice Santoro (d. Irakli "Freak Show" Labadze in five), and another Frenchman in Nicolas Escude (d. Mayer).

On court Thursday are (1)Federer vs. Kiefer, (4)Ferrero vs. Andreev, Ferrer vs. Benneteau, (20)Safin vs. Mantilla, (19)Martin "Berzerk" Verkerk vs. Hanescu, (26)Costa vs. C.Rochus, (24)Bjorkman vs. Enqvist in an all-Swedish, (12)Hewitt vs. Jurgen "Tuna" Melzer, (10)Grosjean vs. (Q)Starace, (28)Guga vs. Elseneer, (8)Nalbandian vs. (Q)Falla, (25)Ljubicic vs. Koubek, H.T.-Lee vs. Olivier "All We Need is Just a Little" Patience, (14)Novak vs. Gaudio, Malisse vs. Elsner, and way the hell out on Court 16, (23)Feliciano "F-Lo" Lopez vs. Kucera.

On the women's side the French kept the upsets coming, with Tatiana Garbin shocking world No. 1 Justine Henin-Hardenne 7-5, 6-4. For the Belgian it was only her second match back after an extended layoff due to an energy-sapping virus infection.

"I have no regrets that I came here because, you know, I had to come back," Henin-Hardenne said. "I was feeling good, but on the court it's for sure different. It is a tough situation, but I think that in the past I came through many times, and I'm sure I'll do it one more time."

Other seeded upsets included (15)Silvia Farina Elia (l. to the American Shaughnessy 7-6 in the third), (28)Lisa Raymond (l. to Parra), (31)Emilie Loit (l. to Zheng), and (32)Dinara "Little Sis" Safina (l. to Irvin).

Seeds moving into the third round were (3)Amelie Mauresmo (d. Anabel "Funky Cold" Medina Garrigues in three), (5)Lindsay Davenport (d. Sanchez Lorenzo), (8)Nadia Petrova (d. Fedak), (9)Elena Dementieva (d. Pratt), (10)Vera "Warren" Zvon-areva (d. Magui "Don't Call me Maggie" Serna in three), (14)Paola Suarez (d. Douchevina), (18)Maria "Grunt-o-rama" Sharapova (d. Rita "It Wasn't" Grande), (19)Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi (d. Klara "Kouky" Koukalova), and (21)Maggie Maleeva (d. Marrero in three).

There were two other winners in all-unseeded matches, with Tatiana Perebiynis thumping Ashley "Anna 2.0" Harkleroad, and Germany's Marlene Weingartner outlasting Maria Camerin in three sets.

On court for the women Thursday are (7)Capriati vs. Peschke, (4)Venus vs. Kostanic, (17)Schiavone vs. Razzano, (6)Myskina vs. Strycova, (16)Schnyder vs. Asagoe, (25)Bovina vs. Groenefeld, (23)Zuluaga vs. Likhovtseva, (20)Martinez vs. Navratilova-killer Gisela "Sgt." Dulko, (30)Pierce vs. Leon Garcia, (2)Serena vs. Kirilenko, (12)Sugiyama vs. Ruano Pascual, (11)Kuznetsova vs. Rittner, Casanova vs. Vento-Kabchi, (29)Mandula vs. Denisa "Hanging" Chlad-kova, , Talaja vs. Foretz, and Srebotnik vs. Perry.

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Light rain
prevented matches from starting for about an hour Wednesday in Roland Garros. Forecasts calls for clearing in the coming days...Andy Roddick's new girlfriend, Lauren Bedford, once dated golf phemon Ty Tryon...Juan Monaco was up 4-1 on Guillermo Coria in the first set before "El Mago" went El Dusto winning 18 of the next 23 games...Talk about blowout mania on the men's side, Moya, Massu and Henman lost a combined 14 games in their wins on Wednesday...The Netherlands has more players in the men's third round than the U.S. How can that be?...Juan Ignacio Chela has his dream draw. Don't choke it, now...Guillermo Coria is now 23-2 career vs. countrymen, while Carlos Moya is 11-0 against his Spanish compadres this year...Marissa Irivin has reached her second straight Roland Garros third round...Justine Henin-Hardenne's loss marks just the second time in the history of the ladie's event that a defending champion lost in the first or second round. Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario lost in the second round in 1990 to Mercedes Paz a year after winning the title...French men knocked out American men 5-1 at the French culminating in Olivier Mutis' upset win over Andy Roddick...Martina Navratilova says playing at Wimbledon is not a given: "We'll see how the body holds up. I need to win a few matches at Eastbourne before I would put myself on the line at Wimbledon." For her singles match at the French, Navratilova took to the court in a Nike hat in a breach of tour rules. When asked to remove the hat by tour officials, she instead cut the logo off with scissors...How nervous is Amelie Mauresmo now with world No. 1 Justine Henin-Hardenne out of the event and the added tremendous French expectations on her burly shoulders? We smell a choke coming on...Hey Andy Roddick, Roland Garros sure is a far cry from those weak-field Houston red clay titles, eh? Though he played only one European claycourt event before the French, Andy Roddick insists he made a concerted effort to prepare: "I came 10 days ago, 11. I arrived Sunday, 11, 12 days ago. Yeah, I was practicing here every day. Got used to the balls. Got used to the conditions, at least what they were last week. You know, I really made a concerted effort, you know, to try to really be prepared and ready for the tournament so there were no surprises." Surprise!...The 2004 French Open marks the first time in the Open Era there's been no American man in the third round of a Grand Slam...The green Reebok wear continues to be Andy Roddick's bad color on clay...Swedish star Torsten Johansson, who set a record by shutting out two opponents at Wimbledon in 1946, died at 84.