Dudi Sela was knocked out in the first round at Roland Garros for the fourth
time in five attempts on Monday, losing 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 to No. 7 seed Tomas
The 27-year-old Israeli dropped 24 places to No. 95 in the ATP
rankings over the last two weeks after winning just two of six games in the
Despite a valiant effort on Monday, he never really
had a chance against Berdych, who reached the French Open semifinals two years
Sela canceled out an early break in the seventh game of the first
set, but lost his serve immediately and the Czech clinched the set.
Israeli No. 1 was making inroads on Berdych’s second serve, but he hit just 17
winners to 18 unforced errors in the match and there was only going to be one
outcome after he lost his serve in the ninth game of the second
Following the defeat, Sela is also set to miss out on the London
Olympics unless he is handed a wildcard.
In other action, Roger Federer’s
bid for a record 17th major tennis title began with another landmark on Monday,
when he won his 233rd match at a grand slam event, equaling the achievement of
Federer beat German Tobias Kamke 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 in the
first round of the French Open and can surpass American Connors’s
professional-era record by continuing his progress here.
No. 1 Victoria Azarenka was lucky to advance after being five points away from
defeat against Italian Alberta Brianti in their first-round match, but turned
the tables to scrape through 6-7, 6-4, 6-2.
Novak Djokovic had a calm
start to his bid to complete his grand slam collection and become the first man
in 43 years to hold all four titles at the same time.
The world No. 1 was
taken to a firstset tiebreak but otherwise was never stretched on the Roland
Garros clay by Italian Potito Starace and won 7-6, 6-3, 6-1.
Djokovic will next play Slovenian Blaz Kavcic. He had a hardfought, 7-6, 6-3,
6-7, 6-3 win over former US Open and Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt, who
needed a wildcard to get into the main draw of the French this time after a run
Federer, the 2009 champion at Roland Garros and runner-up
four times to Rafael Nadal, hit some wayward shots against the 78th-ranked Kamke
but was happy to get through in straight sets.
“They are never easy,
those first rounds,” the Swiss world number three told a news conference. “I
missed a few too many shots but I was in the lead so I could afford to do
Federer will now meet Romania’s Adrian Ungur who beat Argentine
David Nalbandian 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5.
Australian Open champion Azarenka,
who would have been the first top-seeded woman to lose in the opening round, hit
60 unforced errors in her two hours 16 minutes on Philippe Chatrier
“I think that says it all,” the Belarussian said. “Bad days happen
Defending champion Li Na raced through her opening match,
thrashing Romanian Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-1 in 58 minutes.
Dominika Cibulkova was also swift in beating French wildcard Kristina Mladenovic
6-2, 6-1 and will play American Vania King in the second round.
men’s champion Nadal will join the fray on Tuesday, playing Italian Simone
Reuters contributed to this report