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Roddick suffers first round shock
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May 29, 2007 21:58 IST
Last Updated: May 29, 2007 23:33 IST

Third seed Andy Roddick was beaten in the first round of the French Open for the fourth time in his career on Tuesday, ousted 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 by Russian Igor Andreev, the world number 125.

The American, who has never been beyond round three in Paris, led by a set and 4-2 but Andreev hit back to clinch victory in two hours, 43 minutes.

For a set and a half, Roddick looked headed for one of his best wins on his weakest surface but the Russian broke back in the seventh game of the second set and again in the ninth on his way to levelling the match.

As Roddick's frustration grew, Andreev eased through the third set and a double-fault gave the Russian a 2-1 lead in the fourth.

Roddick continued to battle hard and forced a series of break points but Andreev held on to set up a clash with either Chilean Nicolas Massu or Luis Horna of Peru.

Former world number one Lleyton Hewitt had no problems as he crushed Max Mirnyi of Belarus 6-3, 6-1, 6-3.

World number 54 Mirnyi had no answer to the Australian's fierce returns. The former Wimbledon and US Open champion broke twice in each of the first two sets.

Hewitt, who has reached the semi-finals of his last two claycourt events, then broke in the fifth game of the third set to set up a meeting with either former champion Gaston Gaudio of Argentina or Frenchman Marc Gicquel.

Federer breezes in the sun

Meanwhile, Roger Federer's latest bid to add the French Open to his glittering collection of 10 Grand Slam titles got off to a winning start.

The world number one beat American journeyman Michael Russell 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 in a match which had been held over since Monday, one of many victims of the torrential rain which swamped Paris on the opening two days of the tournament.

Federer led 6-4, 4-1 when play was halted the previous evening, but he took less than 50 minutes to wrap up victory in bright sunshine on Court Philippe Chatrier to set up a second round meeting with French wildcard Thierry Ascione.

"The conditions were tough today with the win and because of the rain over the last few days we haven't had much chance to hit balls," said Federer.

"But I was in a comfortable position today. It was a good opening match for me."

Spain's Tommy Robredo, the ninth seed and who could face Federer in the quarter-finals, also went through beating Argentina's Sergio Roitman 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

Argentina's 19th seed Guillermo Canas, playing here for the first time since serving a 15-month doping ban and who has defeated Federer twice this season, was also a first round winner.

Canas, twice a Roland Garros quarter-finalist, defeated Victor Hanescu of Romania 6-3, 6-1, 6-4.

"It's great to be back and playing a Grand Slam after my suspension," said Canas who has battled his way back to 22 in the world.

"I always knew I would play again at a Grand Slam tournament. I just didn't know when. So I'm happy to be able to play at my level again."

Men's seventh seed Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia also made it safely through with a 6-1, 7-5, 7-6 (7/2) win over gritty Frenchman Arnaud Clement.

Later today, double defending champion Rafael Nadal, opens his campaign against highly-rated Argentinian teenager Juan Martin del Potro.

Petrova knocked out

In the women's championship, where prize money matches the men's for the first time, fourth seed Jelena Jankovic, sixth seed Nicole Vaidisova and 13th seed Elena Dementieva all cruised into the second round.

Serbia's Jankovic, buoyed by victory in Rome in the run-up to Roland Garros, eased past France's Stephanie Foretz 6-2, 6-2 while Czech teenager Vaidisova, a semi-finalist in 2006, saw off Switzerland's Emmanuelle Galiardi 6-4, 6-3.

Russia's Dementieva, the runner-up to compatriot Anatasia Myskina in 2004, was also a comfortable winner beating Germany's Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-2.

Jankovic is being talked off as a potential champion at Roland Garros after winning three titles in 2007 and she said she is over the illness which forced her to pull out of the Strasbourg semi-finals last week.

"It was almost 40 degrees there last week and I was throwing up," said the 22-year-old.

"But I'm OK now. Being one of the favourites here doesn't bother me. I just try to give my maximum on court,
that's all I care about."

Russian 11th seed Nadia Petrova, a semi-finalist in 2003 and 2005, was knocked out losing 7-5, 5-7, 6-0 to Czech qualifier Kveta Peschke.

Petrova needed treatment on a back injury at the start of the second set and her movement became more restricted as the tie went on.

Dutchman Martin Verkerk, the shock runner-up to Juan Carlos Ferrero in 2003 but who has slumped to 717 in the world after missing two years with a shoulder injury, couldn't repeat the magic of four years ago.

He slumped to a 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 defeat to Italy's Simone Bolelli to leave him still without a victory on the main tour since July 2004.

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