Roddick, Blake make early exit
Published 4:29 am Wednesday, May 30, 2007
By By CHRIS LEHOURITES, AP Sports Writer
PARIS — Andy Roddick is out of the French Open in the first round again.
For the second straight year and fourth time in the last six years, the American exited at the earliest stage, falling to Igor Andreev of Russia 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 Tuesday.
Two-time defending champion Rafael Nadal and top-ranked Roger Federer won in straight sets, with Nadal improving to 15-0 for his career at the French Open.
James Blake joined Roddick with an early exit, bowing out to Ivo Karlovic 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, 7-5 to leave the American men 0-8 for the day. Fernando Gonzalez of Chile, the Australian Open finalist, fell to Radek Stepanek 6-2, 6-2, 6-4.
The third-seeded Roddick hasn’t won consecutive matches at Roland Garros since 2001. Last year, he quit with an ankle injury after losing his first two sets against Alberto Martin of Spain.
Roddick has reached two finals at the U.S. Open, winning the 2003 title, and also two finals at Wimbledon. But at the French Open, the furthest he’s reached is the third round in 2001.
Andreev had been the last man to beat Nadal on clay before Federer defeated the second-ranked Spaniard at the Hamburg Masters and ended his 81-match winning streak on the surface.
Nadal beat Juan Martin del Potro 7-5, 6-3, 6-2, and Federer beat Michael Russell of the United States 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 in a first-round match that started Monday.
Nadal trailed 5-3 in the first set, but then won eight straight games to take control and start a new streak on clay.
Federer, who is bidding for a fourth straight major title and a career Grand Slam, led 6-4, 4-1 before rain halted play. He returned to center court with sun breaking through the clouds Tuesday and quickly earned his spot in the second round.
Federer didn’t face a break point, winning 78 percent of points on his serve.
Guillermo Canas, who beat Federer twice this year, reached the second round by defeating Victor Hanescu of Romania 6-3, 6-1, 6-4. Canas served a 15-month ban for doping that ended in September.
Filippo Volandri advanced by defeating Paul Capdeville of Chile 6-3, 7-5, 6-3. The 29th-seeded Italian beat Federer at the Rome Masters.
Jelena Jankovic, one of the favorites heading into the French Open because of her win at the Italian Open earlier this month, advanced by beating Stephanie Foretz of France 6-2, 6-2.
The fourth-seeded Serb converted four of her five break points in the first set, and then broke her unseeded opponent three more times in the second.
The 22-year-old Jankovic, who is ranked fifth, pulled out of the semifinals of last week’s clay-court event in Strasbourg because of gastroenteritis.
Also advancing was No. 6 Nicole Vaidisova, 2004 runner-up Elena Dementieva, No. 18 Marion Bartoli, No. 20 Sybille Bammer, No. 23 Francesca Schiavone and No. 28 Mara Santangelo. No. 11 Nadia Petrova of Russia lost to Kveta Peschke of Germany 7-5, 5-7, 6-0.
In men’s play, No. 13 Mikhail Youzhny advanced when Jan Hernych of the Czech Republic pulled out after only nine points in the first game of the match because of a back injury.
Youzhny will next face Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuador, who advanced when Alexander Peya retired with digestive problems.
An Open-era record six players have retired from the first round of the men’s draw this year. In 1978 and 1994, four players retired. The Grand Slam record is seven, set during the 2002 U.S. Open.
Also reaching the second round were seventh-ranked Ivan Ljubicic, No. 9 Tommy Robredo, No. 11 Richard Gasquet, No. 14 Lleyton Hewitt and No. 15 David Nalbandian.
The first two days of the tournament were marked by rain. Only 14 matches were completed before Tuesday.