Four-time winners Justine Henin and Rafael Nadal sailed through round one of the French Open Tuesday, but Dinara Safina was stunned by Japanese veteran Kimiko Date Krumm. Andy Roddick also advanced, beating Finland's Jarkko Nieminen in five sets.
AFP - Four-time winner Justine Henin made a winning French Open return on Tuesday, as two-time losing finalist Dinara Safina was stunned in the first round by 39-year-old Japanese veteran Kimiko Date Krumm.
Henin beat Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova 6-4, 6-3 to reach the second round but Safina crashed out, losing 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 to Date Krumm, who became the second oldest winner of a Roland Garros match since Virginia Wade in 1985.
LIVE RESULTS FROM THE US OPEN
Men's sixth seed Andy Roddick came through a five-setter to beat Finland's Jarkko Nieminen 6-2, 4-6, 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, while second seeded clay king Rafael Nadal prepared to begin his campaign against Frenchman Gianni Mina.
Henin, the number 22 seed, is appearing at her first French Open since she last won the event in 2007, having retired from tennis in 2008 and then returned to the sport at the beginning of this year.
The 27-year-old Belgian will now face Czech Klara Zakopalova.
"I never expected to be back here again on this court," said Henin after taking her first steps on Court Philippe Chatrier since she overwhelmed Ana Ivanovic in the 2007 final.
"When I woke up this morning I wasn't sure what the emotions would be. But when I got out there, a lot of things came back to me.
"It was fantastic and it was an honour to be scheduled there."
Date Krumm, who reached the semi-finals here back in 1995, will meet Australian wildcard Jarmila Groth in round two after seeing off a sour-tempered Safina, whose season has been hampered by a lower back injury.
"Three weeks ago I injured my calf and to play against Safina on (Court) Suzanne Lenglen, I was already happy just to be here," said Date Krumm, who needed treatment on her calf at 4-2 down in the third set.
"I tried my best and proved to myself what I can do. I'm very sorry for her but very happy to win."
Russian 29th seed Anastasiya Pavlyuchenkova booked her place in the next round with a 6-4, 6-2 defeat of home favourite Alize Cornet, while Slovakian 23rd seed Daniela Hantuchova thrashed Thai veteran Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-1, 6-1.
Israeli 18th seed Shahar Peer and Russian 21st seed Vera Zvonareva will also compete for a place in round three after both won in straight sets.
Former world number one Maria Sharapova was set to begin her tournament against Russian compatriot Ksenia Pervak later on Tuesday.
Roddick will face either Eduardo Schwank of Argentina or Slovenia's Blaz Kavcic for a place in the last 32 after his five-set ordeal against Nieminen on Philippe Chatrier.
The big-hitting American had skipped the entire claycourt season for what he called "personal reasons" and had to dig deep before eventually overcoming his wily 28-year-old opponent in three hours and 19 minutes.
Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, the seventh seed, breezed past Russia's Igor Kunitsyn 6-4, 6-2, 6-2, but Argentine 26th seed Juan Monaco fell 7-6 (8/6), 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 to Slovenian qualifier Grega Zemlja, the world 141.
Verdasco had to apologise earlier this week after shouting abuse at the French fans during his defeat to Richard Gasquet in the Nice final on Saturday and he refused to be drawn on the incident again.
"You keep asking me questions about this incident," snapped Verdasco at his post-match press conference.
"I said I don't want to add anything. If you keep on asking the same questions, I'll answer the same answer, and then I get fed up."
Austrian 22nd seed Juergen Melzer defeated Israel's Dudi Sela but 18th seed Sam Querrey of the USA lost in four sets to countryman Robby Ginepri.
Date created : 2010-05-25