PARIS: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga survived the weight of home expectations while dangerman Juan Martin Del Potro shrugged off an injury scare before triumphing on Sunday’s sweltering first day at Roland Garros.
French fifth seed Tsonga, the highest-ranked player in action, overcame a first set wobble to beat Russian qualifier Andrey Kuznetsov 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.
Ninth seed Del Potro, the Argentine who won the 2009 US Open having made the semi-finals here in the same year, saw off Spanish veteran Albert Montanes 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 6-1 in a shade over three hours. He will tackle France’s Edouard Roger-Vasselin for a place in the last 32.
Andy Roddick slumped to a fifth French Open first round defeat in 10 visits when the injury-plagued American lost 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 to France’s Nicolas Mahut.
Also making the last 64 was 2003 champion Juan Carlos Ferrero, who defeated French wildcard Jonathan Dasnieres de Veigy 6-1, 6-4, 6-3.
In the women’s event, US Open champion Samantha Stosur had the honour of being the first player into the second round, brushing aside Britain’s Elena Baltacha. Joining Stosur in the next round were former champions, Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova and Ana Ivanovic of Serbia.
Venus Williams battled back from a set down to defeat Argentine teenager Paula Ormaechea 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.
Williams, seven-times a Grand Slam title winner, faces either third seed Agnieszka Radwanska or Bojana Jovanovski for a place in the third round.