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French top player Tsonga makes through five-set first round

05-24-2010 09:07 BJT

PARIS, May 23 (Xinhua) -- French top tennis player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga didn't let the home crowd down as he hold off German Daniel Brands's strong challenge at the opening day of French Open to win the first round in five sets on Sunday.

Tsonga, eighth seeded, defeated his unseeded rival in 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-7(2), 7-5, setting up a second-round encounter with compatriot Josselin Ouanna, who defeated Lukasz Kubot from Poland in 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 6-2 and 6-4.

Although other seeded players such as Robin Soderling, Marin Cilic and Mikhail Youzhny all qualified for the second round in a much easier way, the 25-year-old Tsonga didn't feel worried about his form.

"It was a long match, but I have two days to rest. I think I should be okay," said Tsonga. "I'm happy I won. The number of guys who have won a tournament having a difficult first round or even had to save match points, I mean, that's very often the case. So, I mean, it's not a big deal."

Before Tsogna's tough promotion, fifth seed Soderling from Sweden beat home player Laurent Recouderc quite comfortably in 6-0, 6-2 and 6-3.

"It's always nice to have a quick match in the early rounds," said Soderling, who surprisingly knocked out king of clay Rafael Nadal, but lost to Roger Federer in the final of last year's French Open.

Croatian Marin Cilic, 10th seeded overcame Ricardo Mello from Brazil in 6-1, 3-6, 6- 3, 6-1.

In the women's singles event, second seed Venus Williams swept Swiss Patty Schnyder in straight sets. The American's younger sister is going to began her first round match on Monday as the top seed. Her opponent is Stefanie Voegele from Switzerland.

Chinese fledgling Zhang Shuai, who won three qualifying matches in a row to advance into the first round, could hardly make any threat against the 19-seeded Russian Nadia Petrova.

Zhang, 21, didn't won any game in the first set, then lost the second set in 6-3.

"She served so well," said Zhang. "But I still felt that I had some chances during the match. I was just too tired to play well."

Zhang's compatriot Li Na is slated to meet French Kristina Miadenovic in the Suzanne Lenglen court on Monday.

Editor:Zhang Ning |Source: Xinhua

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