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Page last updated at 16:57 GMT, Sunday, 23 May 2010 17:57 UK

French Open day one as it happened

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By Pranav Soneji



1754: So it's reaching that time in the evening when the crowds start filtering out of Roland Garros, although home favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga faces a tough test in a fifth-set decider against Daniel Brands. Tune in tomorrow when Andy Murray takes on another home favourite Richard Gasquet on Suzanne Lenglen, roughly around 1300 BST, while British women's number one Elena Balatcha faces a tough test against Poland's eighth seed Agnieszka Radwanska. We still have one more match to go on Suzanne Lenglen where 19th seed Nadia Petrova takes on China's Shuai Zhang. The wonderful Caroline Cheese is in the hotseat tomorrow, tune in then. But from me, it's au revoir.



USA
The match is over
1746: What a time to unleash her first two aces - Venus Williams, two break-points down, levels at deuce with two exocets. She moves to match point, only to see Schynder hit back with a thunderous forehand. However, the American regains her composure with a strong forehand and eventually converts match point number four for a 6-3 6-3. That's 11 wins in 11 matches for Venus against Schynder. Meanwhile, Daniel Brands hits back in the fourth-set tie-break against Tsonga 7-2 to set up an enthralling fifth-set finale.

Twitter
5 live tennis on Twitter: "Gulbis says he's off to hospital for an MRI scan, stretched his hamstring and heard two cracks. Hopes to be ready for Queens."

1734: Patty Schynder has never beaten Venus Williams in 10 attempts, which doesn't bode too well for her as the second seed breaks yet again for a 5-3 lead to serve for the match. Over on Phillippe Chatrier, Tsonga takes the fourth set to a tie-break - a win here and it's game over for Daniel Brands.

1723: Venus sends a second serve wide as Patty Schynder converts three break points at the first ask to haul the second-set deficit back to 3-2. Daniel Brands takes a 5-4 lead in the third set against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Chatrier.

1719: More woe for Russia's Anna Chakvetadze. The former world number six, now ranked 112, loses to Germany's Angelique Kerber 5-7 7-6 6-4.

1659:Jo-Wilfried Tsonga claims the third set 6-2 to take a 2-1 lead over Daniel Brands while Venus Williams does the same with her opening set against Patty Schynder, breaking the Swiss's serve for the third time at 6-3.


1644: Tsonga takes control of the third set against Daniel Brands, winning four successive games to take a 5-1 lead in the third while Venus Williams begins to boss her first-round tie against Patty Schnyder, breaking her opponent's serve - only for the Swiss to break in the next game to stay in contention at 3-2.



Twitter
5 live tennis on Twitter: "Baltacha v Radwanska is 3rd on Court 3. Coverage on 5Live Sports Extra."

1633: Odd start to the third set of the Tsonga/Brands match on Phillipe Chatrier with both men breaking the other's serve at 1-1. A similar pattern follows on Suzanne Lenglen, where Venus Williams has just unveiled a sleek black dress with red piping and straps complete with a frilly, lacy skirt, much to the approval of those always sartorially elegant Parisians. As well as looking the part, the world number two absolutely pulverises Schnyder the opening game, only for the Swiss to win the next game - on Williams's serve - to love. It's 1-1 going into the third...

Twitter
Piers Newbery on Twitter: "Gasquet-Murray will be on the Suzanne-Lenglen court on Monday."

Twitter
5 live tennis on Twitter: "On the Gasquet/Murray scheduling; ia it 'unfair' on Gasquet to play tmrw? That's when the top 1/2 is played. No exceptions. Tough."

France
1611: Double delight for the home crowd as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga levels his match against Germany's Daniel Brands after winning the second set 6-3 on Phillipe Chatrier.



The match is over
France
1603: Gulbis decides enough is enough after losing his first service game of the third set and retires because of a hamstring problem, allowing Julien Benneteau to book his place in the second round, much to the delight of the Suzanne Lenglen faithful. Oh well Sam (see below), time to pick another potential winner. Twenty-two unforced errors from the Latvian, very scrappy. Up next we have 2002 losing finalist and second seed Venus Williams up against Switzerland's Patty Schnyder.

1556: Beaten British number three Anne Keothavong reflects on her 6-2 6-2 defeat by Italy's 14th seed Flavia Pennetta: "Flavia played a really good match. I don't think I played badly, I just think she was aware that she'd have to play that well if she was going to beat me in the way she did today. It's pretty hot out there and the conditions are tough, the court's fast and lively, but I have no complaints. Her backhand is fantastic and unfortunately I just couldn't pressure her forehand enough or hit my returns deep enough, but that's what happened. If you ask anyone in the locker room I think they'd all agree that I'm a better player than my ranking suggests - even now three months after coming back from a cruciate ligament injury."


France
1548: Happy times for Julien Benneteau, who waltzes to a 2-0 lead after confidently taking the second set 6-2.



France
1545: While it's all "allez" on Suzanne Lenglen, it's not so rosy for eighth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who loses the first set 6-4 to Germany's Daniel Brands. Meanwhile, the trainer is out again for Gulbis, vigoriously massaging around his right thigh in an effort to reinvigorate the Latvian's staid game.

1539: Gulbis slides along the clay as he hammers a forehand down the line, but he immediately grabs his right hamstring, indicating all is still not well in the leg department. Not that the increasingly partisan home crowd care as the 23rd seed is broken and trails the second set 4-1 to Benneteau. This match may not last too much longer...

Text in your views on 81111
From Sam, Portsmouth, text 81111: "I'm not regretting my prediction at 1036. Yet."

1531: More chat, this time from last year's beaten finalist Robin Soderling, who beat Rafael Nadal en route, following his win over wild card Laurent Recouderc: "That was all last year. I have to start over again. But of course it's always nice to come back to a place where you did well last year. It gives you good feelings." Meanwhile, after a fairly lengthy absence, Gulbis returns to court to serve in the fifth game of the second set.


1526: Ernest Gulbis grimaces as he slips changing direction on the clay during the fourth game of the second set against Julien Benneteau. The Latvian grabs his hamstring and summons the trainer as his opponent takes a 3-1 second-set lead. A concerned Gulbis is led off court for more privacy, although an eager cameraman is doing his darndest to ensure he is privy to the treatment.

1521:This just in from defending women's champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, who suffered an early wobble on her way to a 6-3 6-1 win over Romania's Sorana Cirstea: "I was definitely a little bit nervous. It was a rough start (going 3-0 down) for me. I have not been showing as good results as I would like to, but I knew this moment has to pass because I deserve better. I don't doubt my tennis. I would look very stupid (winning) two grand slams and doubting if I can play tennis."

France
1516: Russia's 30th seed Maria Kirilenko is 1-0 up against Croatia's Karolina Sprem and has just broken to lead 5-4. She is serving for the match on court two. Meanwhile, men's eighth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is 4-2 down in the first to Daniel Brands on Phillipe Chatrier.


France
1508: Delight for the home faithful in Suzanne Lenglen as Julien Benneteau holds serve to clinch the first set against the much-fancied Ernests Gulbis. A whiff of an upset? Perhaps.

1455: Let's have a look at how a couple of Frenchmen are doing, now, with Julien Benneteau in action against Latvian Ernests Gulbis and eighth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga facing Germany's Daniel Brands. Benneteau looks like he is in for a long afternoon's work, his match having just witnessed its third break of the opening set leaving the Frenchman 5-4 up and serving for the set, while Tsonga has enjoyed a far steadier start, he is level and on serve against Brands early in their match.

The match is over
A shock result
1443: Confirmation that another women's seed has fallen as 20th seed Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez loses 6-2 6-4 to Akgul Amanmuradova, the world number 98 from Uzbekistan. Don't think too many people were expecting that.

The match is over
It's bad news for a Briton
1438: Flavia Pennetta ups the intensity and batters Keothavong into submission, breaking the British number three's serve for the second time in the set before sealing the match 6-2 6-2 with a forehand winner. Recent Italian Open winner and 20th seed Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez is also in danger of a first-round exit against Uzbekistan's Akgul Amanmuradova. The Spaniard is 6-2 5-4 down in the second.

1430: Lots of heart from Keothavong as she keeps pace with Pennetta but loses her serve when it matters most to trail 3-2. Meanwhile, outside bet and 15th seed Aravane Rezai of France cleans up Canada's Heidi El Tabakh 6-1 6-1 while another of the fancied outsiders, Ernests Gulbis, has made a rocky start against France's Julien Benneteau, losing his first service game to trail 2-1 in the first. Latvian Gulbis recently caused a stir when he beat Roger Federer in the second round of the Rome Masters before taking a set off Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of the tournament, the first player to take a set off the Spaniard on clay this year.

Twitter
Piers Newbery on Twitter: "Just back from Number One Court where Keothavong is battling hard against Pennetta - it's too hot to sit there, let alone run around."

1415: Credit to Anne Keothavong - the Briton is digging deep and swiping the occasional winner from behind the baseline, but Flavia Pennetta's brilliance on the counter punch is keeping the Italian's nose ahead. It's 1-1 in the second set and on serve.

Twitter
5 live tennis on Twitter: "Aravane Rezai the outsider's pick for the title? Started well against El Tabakh 6/1 first set."

1407: Pennetta holds and clinches the first set 6-2.

It's bad news for a Briton
1400: Just when you thought Anne Keothavong was finding her feet in this match, Flavia Pennetta counter-attacks to seal a double break to lead 5-2 in the first. Tough task ahead.

A shock result
1400: Over on court seven, Italy's Fabio Fognini has dumped two-time Olympic gold medallist Nicolas Massu in five sets while world number 11 Victoria Azarenka becomes the first seed to fall as she is comprehensively beaten 6-1 6-2 by Argentina's Gisela Dulko. Shock graphic time.

It's good news for a Briton
1355: Really good service hold from Keothavong, sealing the game with a cross-court forehand on the run to reduce the arrears to 3-2 in the first set. She's not letting Pennetta dictate the tempo of the match - but she'll have to play some darn good tennis to maintain this intensity.

1347: Good hold from Keothavong, guiding a subtle drop shot beyond the reaches of the advancing Pennetta. Plenty of interest in this match with a decent contingent squeezed into court one. Meanwhile, looks like we're on course for our first upset of the day as 10th seed Victoria Azarenka is 6-1 4-1 down to Argentina's Gisela Dulko on Suzanne Lenglen.

1339: Uh-oh, Anne's lost her first service game but she's making a useful contribution in Pennetta's first service game, although the Italian punches a muscular serve to take a 2-0 lead after six minutes.

Keothavong ready for clay

1331: Out comes Hackney's own Anne Keothavong, resplendent in a banana-yellow vest, closely followed by her Italian opponent, sporting a similar colour shirt. Keothavong, who made a comeback in February following a knee injury is ranked 100 places below Pennetta at 115. Her form has been so-so of late, but she'll need to pull out a sensational performance to overcome her experienced 28-year-old opponent.

The match is over
1318: It's unrefined joy in the De Bakker household as the Netherlands's Thiemo beats France's Olivier Patience 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-3. And Mikhail Youzhny converts two match points on serve to seal a straightforward 6-1 6-0 6-4 win over Poland's Michal Przysiezny, so expect Anne Keothavong on court one in a few minutes. And last year's beaten men's finalist Robin Soderling joins the second-round gang with a 6-0 6-2 6-3 win over wild card Laurent Recouderc.

Text in your views on 81111
From Swedish Rob, on my way two the park in London, text 81111: "A friend who was an umpire when Soderling was junior in Sweden thinks he walks like a Smurf."

1308: Mikhail Youzhny is absolutely steaming through Michal Przysiezny at the moment. The Russian is 2-0 up and 5-3 in front in the third. The sooner he wins (oh come on, you don't expect a Polish comeback, do you?), the sooner British number three Anne Keothavong is on court one to play her first-round tie against Italy's 14th seed Flavia Pennetta.

The match is over
1257: British number one and world number 59 Elena Baltacha is on 5 live at the moment and she sounds as happy as a Frenchman chomping a pastry, despite having to withdraw from the Strasbourg International because of a back injury. But she sounds confident for her first-round tie against world number eight Agnieszka Radwanska on Monday. She's tipping Rafael Nadal for the men's title too. Meanwhile, Janko Tipsarevic is out following a comprehensive 6-1 6-2 6-3 defeat by Colombia's Alejandro Falla, while Robin Soderling is two games away from a simple first-round victory at 4-1 in the third set.

Text in your views on 81111
From Heather Manchester, text 81111: "I am excited! The start of the French only means its four weeks to Wimbledon! The green grass is not far away!"

1249: It's all a little bit too easy for Robin Soderling, who hustles and bustles to take a 2-0 lead by taking the second set 6-2. Meanwhile, over on court three, Janko Tipsarevic looks as he will be postcard shopping for the rest of the week as he's 2-0 down and 4-1 down in the third set. Much to the delight of Jinadine on 606, Argentina's Gisela Dulko is in action against Belarus's 10th seed Victoria Azarenka on Suzanne Lenglen.

Twitter
Piers Newbery on Twitter: "A brief chat with some of the esteemed British press, which in no way took place in the bar, says Murray to beat Gasquet tomorrow. Probably.."

Text in your views on 81111
From Max, Wiltshire, text 81111: "Felipe Melo's actually a tennis player? I wondered why he'd been so rubbish for Juventus."
Mello Hell-o. Apologies, I obviously meant Ricardo Mello not his midfield-playing almost namesake Felipe Melo. Nothing gets past you lot.


The match is over
1234: Tenth seed Marin Cilic secures his place in the second round with a 6-1 3-6 6-3 6-1 win over Brazil's Ricardo Mello. Other victors include American Varvara Lepchenko, who beat compatriot Christina Mchale 7-5 6-3. Elsewhere, Mikhail Youzhny races into a 2-0 lead against Michal Przysiezny while world number 41 Janko Tipsarevic is 2-0 down to Colombia's Alejandro Falla.

1226: Sensational! Laurent Recouderc has won his first game of the match against Soderling in the fourth game of the second set. He raises his racquet to acknowledge the warm applause of the home crowd, although, judging by that exchange, I don't think he thinks he'll be winning many more.

Text in your views on 81111
From Emma in Falmouth, Cornwall, text 81111: "Also trying to revise for my university exams! Sorry early modern England, but tennis and sunshine win hands down!"

The match is over
1215: Just 30 minutes after her victory over Sorana Cirstea, Svetlana Kuznetsova discovers her opponent in the second round - it is none other than Germany's Andrea Petkovic who has just beaten Elena Vesnina of Ukraine 6-1 4-6 6-4. World number 41 Petkovic whacked a whopping 62 winners in her win.

A bagel
1208: Wallop. Soderling absolutely marmalises his beleaguered French opponent by taking the first set 6-0. Le bagel. However, it's not so easy for 10th seed Marin Cilic, who has just won the third set against Brazil's Felipe Melo to take a 2-1 lead going into the fourth set. Meanwhile over on court one, 11th seed Mikhail Youzhny is absolutely pulverising Poland's world number 94 Michal Przysiezny 5-1.

Get involved on 606
From RKW - Bred Pole: "I love watching Robin Soderling - ever since he beat Rafael Nadal in last year's French Open. It was scorching that day, too."

1200: RSod hammers a scintillating first serve ace before easily breaking Recouderc and holding his serve in the fifth to waltz into a 5-0 lead. Soderling has only lost two points in this first set. Little word on Recouderc, ranked 179 in the world. He's travelled to all corners of the globe on the Challenger tour but hasn't exactly had a great time of late. And judging by what we've seen so far, his poor run looks set to continue.

Text in your views on 81111
From Anon, text 81111: "Anyone else notice the ascending pattern of games conceded by the winners so far?Cibulkova -2 Kuznetsova - 4 Scheepers - 6. Will it continue I wonder?"

1145: Absolutely sensational start to the Soderling v Recouderc match on Phillipe Chatrier as both men exchange a delightful rally full of deft strokeplay, only for Recouderc to hammer the easiest shot of the 20-stroke rally into the net. Soderling holds serve to take a 1-0 lead against the French wild card.



A bagel
1141: As mentioned by Jonathan Overend in 5 live's tweet below, the wonderfully named Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa has beaten France's Mathilde Johansson 6-2 6-4 while 26th seed Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia eased past Russia's Ekaterina Ivanova 6-2 6-0. Time for the tournament's first bagel.

Twitter
5 live tennis on Twitter: "First winners on Day 1... Kuznetsova, Cibulkova and, jeepers creepers, Chanelle Scheepers. Cirstea was aggressive v Kuzy but too erratic."

Text in your views on 81111
From Anon, text 81111: "Sitting by a pool in mountains at back of Nice, Cote d'Azur. As far as I can all tennis tournaments this year have been empty. Only Wimbledon gets sold out. What's happening?"

The match is over
1125: After making an absolutely horrendous start, defending women's champion Svetlana Kuznetsova has absolutely pulverised Sorana Cirstea 6-3 6-1. Poor Cirstea looks as if she's about to burst into tears as she saunters off Philippe Chatrier. On next is last year's losing men's finalist Robin Soderling, who faces the challenge of Frenchman Laurent Recouderc.

1118: Cirstea manages to temporarily halt Kuznetsova's charge at 3-1, but the Russian holds her serve for a 4-1 lead.



1111: Kuznetsova suffers a bout of the wobbles as Cirstea counters at 0-40. But impressive mental application from the Russian, who dominates the next five points to win her ninth successive game for a commanding 3-0 second-set lead.


Twitter
Piers Newbery on Twitter: "Chatrier almost half full..."

1105: Kuznetsova wins her seventh successive game at the start of the second and has the perfect opportunity to break Cirstea when she is presented with a short second serve, but inexplicably sends her forehand into the net. But the defending champion eventually converts with a muscular cross-court forehand to take a 2-0 lead. Should be regulation from here.

Text in your views on 81111
From Jon, Exeter, text 81111: "Trying to revise for my final university exam and I've got the tennis on and apark bathed in glorious sunshine out of my window. Failure to follow."

1050: Kuznetsova hammers a firecracker of a forehand at Cirstea, the world number 34, who sends her return wide to take the first set 6-3 in 38 minutes in complete contrast to how she began the match.

Twitter
Piers Newbery on Twitter: "Sunday's order of play is out, @annekeothavong third on Court 1, guessing about 1300-1400 BST."

Text in your views on 81111
From Sam, Portsmouth, text 81111: "I'm gonna stick my neck out and say Gulbis and Henin to win the titles."


1036: Unsurprisingly, after writing about how awful Kuznetsova has been so far, the sixth seed hits back and breaks Cirstea before holding her service game to level the match at 3-3.


1033: At the risk of talking to myself, let's have your thoughts on Svet's continuing problems, the glorious weather and everything else in between at Roland Garros. You can use the 606 website or text 81111/+44 7786200666 if you are outside the sun-drenched reaches of the British Isles (with the word TENNIS before your message).


1025: Kuznetsova finally gets a number next to her name in the fourth game, but trails her spritely Romanian opponent 3-1. The sixth-seeded Russian has been in woeful form of late, suffering a string of early exits in Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart, Rome and Madrid. And, judging by what we have seen so far, they look set to continue in Paris too.

Twitter
Piers Newbery on Twitter: "Morning all, boiling hot & I need to learn the French for "sun cream". The @5livetennis box is a hive of activity."

1018: Dreadful start for Kuznetsova, who loses her opening service game as Cirstea, resplendent in the colours befitting the Premier League's newest member Blackpool, takes a 2-0 lead within five minutes. The defending champ is all over the place at the moment.

1010: Defending women's champion Svetlana Kuznetsova ambles on to Court Philippe Chatrier alongside Romania's Sorana Cirstea for the opening match of this year's tournament, only to be greeted by a crowd that can be best described as "sparse". It is Sunday though, so all your bleary-eyed Parisians are forgiven. Cirstea to serve first.

The sun is out
1004: Buenos dias y Bienvenidos a Par...oh hang on. Bonjour et bienvenue to the first day of the French Open at Roland Garros. It's glorious in Paris and equally golden outside the office window here at Television Centre in west London. I'm obviously absolutely delighted to be inside.




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see also
Injured Gulbis out of French Open
23 May 10 |  Tennis
Kuznetsova opens defence with win
23 May 10 |  Tennis
Keothavong falls at first hurdle
23 May 10 |  Tennis
Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis
Grand slam women's singles latest
21 May 10 |  Tennis
Grand slam men's singles latest
21 May 10 |  Tennis
French Open day one photos
23 May 10 |  Tennis


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