<
>

Nadal, Federer advance while Roddick, Blake exit early

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 on Tuesday.

"It was difficult, but I made him go out and beat me today," said Roddick, who was broken at love in the third game of the final set when he double-faulted for the first time. "I felt like I hit the ball OK today. At times, really well."

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. Amer Delic, Justin Gimelstob, Robert Kendrick, Sam Querrey, Michael Russell and Vince Spadea also lost, while Robby Ginepri's match against Diego Hartfield of Argentina was suspended.

"It's no secret we haven't done that great on clay this year," Blake said, "but I think we have the ability. ...

"It's frustrating, but we'll hopefully get it back on grass," Blake said. "I promise we won't have all eight guys losing in the first round at Wimbledon."

A third highly seeded man joined Roddick and Blake on the way out when No. 5 Fernando Gonzalez, the runner-up to Federer at the Australian Open, lost to Radek Stepanek 6-2, 6-2, 6-4. Other results of note included wins by 2004 French Open champion Gaston Gaudio and two-time major champion Lleyton Hewitt, while No. 28
Philipp Kohlschreiber outlasted Lukas Dlouhy 17-15 in the fifth set.

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.

"I'm not going to give up. It's my biggest challenge, that's not a secret," Roddick said.

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 Russell 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.

"Difficult always in the first round ... especially here," Nadal said. "He play very tough, very aggressive."

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.

"It's not easy," Federer said. "It's kind of cool today, windy, been raining the last few days. So we haven't been having much of a chance to hit much tennis balls."

Federer didn't face a break point, winning 78 percent of points on his serve.

"I served well," said Federer, a 10-time Grand Slam champion who will next face Thierry Ascione. "And I was able to return his serve, and I was able to break him and it was a solid performance."

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.

"Oh, it's great to be here," said the 19th-seeded Canas, who tested positive for a diuretic in 2005. "It's great to be in the French Open again. It's great to play my first Grand Slam after my suspension."

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.

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.

"I really wanted to play today, actually. But I have a little pain in my back, so one more day rest is good," said Youzhny, who has reached three finals this year.

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.

Seventh-ranked Ivan Ljubicic, No. 9 Tommy Robredo, No. 11 Richard Gasquet, No. 15 David Nalbandian, No. 16 Marcos Baghdatis, No. 17 Juan Carlos Ferrero, No. 18 Juan Ignacio Chela, No. 20 Jarkko Nieminen, No. 21 Dmitry Tursunov, No. 27 Jurgen Melzer and No. 32 Nicolas Almagro also reached the second round.

No. 30 Julien Benneteau of France, a quarterfinalist last year, lost to Carlos Berlocq of Argentina 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-2, 6-3, and No. 25 Robin Soderling retired while trailing Albert Montanes 7-6 (4), 4-1. Martin Verkerk, the Dutchman who made a surprising run to the 2003 French Open final but then dropped off the tour entirely after injuries, lost his first Grand Slam match in three years.

The first two days of the tournament were marked by rain. Only 14 matches were completed before Tuesday.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.