Published May 27, 2012
| Sports Network
Paris, France – French crowd favorite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina and former champion Juan Carlos Ferrero were among Sunday's first-round winners at the French Open in Paris.
Meanwhile, American Andy Roddick was knocked out.
Tsonga, the No. 5 seed, handled Russian Andrey Kuznetsov 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 at the world's lone clay-court major.
Tsonga hasn't fared well at his native Grand Slam -- a pair of fourth-round appearances are his best results in four previous visits -- and he felt a little off Sunday, at least during some of the match.
"I had a feeling I was not hitting that well. I was always fighting difficulties," Tsonga said. "I was not right on my stance because he was playing very deep.
"In intensity, I was OK. I had break points right from the beginning."
Next up for Tsonga is German Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, who was leading Joao Souza 6-3, 2-0 when the Brazilian retired.
The ninth-seeded del Potro beat Spaniard Albert Montanes 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 6-1. Del Potro was a French Open semifinalist in 2009.
Del Potro will do battle with Edouard Roger-Vasselin in the second round after the Frenchman beat Vasek Pospisil of Canada 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.
Ferrero, whose only Grand Slam title came back in 2003 on the famed red clay at Roland Garros, defeated Frenchman Jonathan Dasnieres de Veigy 6-1, 6-4, 6-3.
Frenchman Nicolas Mahut took down Roddick, the No. 26 seed, 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.
Roddick, who didn't play at Roland Garros last year, has reached the second week in Paris just once in 10 trips -- a fourth-round exit in 2009. He said he couldn't carry over the momentum from winning the third set.
"It fell apart pretty quick," said Roddick. "You never feel real good about your chances down two sets. That's not where you want to be."
There were two matches that were suspended due to darkness and will be completed on Monday.
No. 31 seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa and Rui Machado of Portugal are deadlocked 7-6 (7-2), 6-7 (6-8), 4-6, 6-1, 7-7 while Pole Lukasz Kubot is leading Slovakian Karol Beck 7-5, 6-2, 4-4.
Croatian Marin Cilic, the No. 21 seed, handled Daniel Munoz-De La Nava of Spain 6-4, 6-4, 7-5. Cilic will face Ferrero in the second round.
The 14th-seeded Fernando Verdasco defeated Belgium Steve Darcis 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4), while 18th-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland outlasted Italian Flavio Cipolla 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 3-6, 6-2.
In other first-round action, Nicolas Devilder of France cruised past Filip Krajinovic of Serbia 6-2, 6-2, 6-0, Gilles Muller of Luxembourg outlasted Igor Sijsling of the Netherlands 2-6, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 8-6, Spaniard Pablo Andujar discarded Victor Hanescu of Romania 6-1, 2-6, 1-6, 6-3, 6-1, German Michael Berrer dispatched No. 30 seed Jurgen Melzer of Austria 6-7 (5-7), 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 and Fabio Fognini of Italy beat Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-0, 7-5, 6-1.
Six-time champion Rafael Nadal beat 2009 winner Roger Federer in last year's final to capture a second straight French Open title. Nadal shares the men's record, along with Bjorn Borg, with his six Open Era championships here.
Nadal has been the runner-up to Novak Djokovic in the last three Grand Slam finals overall, including this year's Australian Open.
The 2012 Roland Garros titlist will win $1.57 million.