Roddick Out, Oudin Surprises

French Open 2012
By Hiland Doolittle, May 28th, 2012

Nicolas Mahut is in the record books for playing the longest match in Grand Slam history when he succumbed to American John Isner at Wimbledon two years ago. On day 1 of the 2012 French Open, Mahut outplayed and out-served American Andy Roddick in a decisive 6-3,6-3, 4-6, 6-2 triumph. Mahut is having a good year and was well placed to make a run in Paris.

Andy Roddick existed on the day 1 of French Open 2012

Admittedly off his game and playing on his least favorite surface, Roddick’s statistics bear out the slump the American has been in this season. He recorded 8 aces to Mahut’s 13. He committed just 26 unforced errors, 10 less than Mahut, but for Andy to win, he must be aggressive. His game on Day 1 can only be described as tame.

On the other hand, France’s Mahut was up to the challenge. His forehand was particularly effective as Roddick was unable to move Mahut from the center of the court. Roddick will join another former world number 1, Lleyton Hewitt on the sidelines for the rest of the tournament. Hewitt lost in four sets to Slovakia’s Blaz Kavcic.

The French crowd rallied behind their top male contender, Jo Wilfried Tsonga, the 5th seed. Jo Willy needed four sets but held strong when Andrey Kuznetsov appeared ready to upset the fan favorite. Tsonga’s 6-1, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 triumph was a popular win. He will next play German Cedrik-Marcel Stebe.

Melanie Oudin's surprise victory

Day 1 was a good day for American Melanie Oudin who won her first Grand Slam match since her amazing performances at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2010. 20-year old Oudin is desperate for a deep run at Roland Garros. On Sunday, Melanie upset Johanna Larsson 6-3, 6-3. Oudin looks to have worked on her serve, her biggest drawback. After he astonishing performance at the US Open, life on the tour has been painful for the mighty mite. However, a confident Oudin is still a dangerous layer.

Australia’s Samantha Stosur, the runner-up in 2010 in Paris and the reigning 2011 US Open Champion, showed off her flashy serve in downing Elena Baltacha of the UK 6-4, 6-0. Once Samantha found her service game, she was on cruise control winning her second set in just 25 minutes.

American Venus Williams made her 2012 Roland Garros debut on Sunday. After losing the first set to Argentinian Paula Ormaechea, Venus found her legs en route to a 4-6, 6-1,6-3 win. The French Open is Venus’ fifth tournament of the year. She is fighting to make the Olympic Team. Venus was not match-tough at the start but she warmed to the task and will be ready to face the winner of the 3rd seeded Radwanska - Bojana Jovanovski match in the second round.

All in all, it was an exciting Day 1. The weather looks good for Day 2.

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