ROLAND GARROS 2014
Berdych Powers Into Second Round; Isner Overcomes Frenchman
by ATP Staff|
Sixth-seed Tomas Berdych brought the Bullring faithful to their feet on opening day at Roland Garros, firing 50 winners to power past Canadian qualifier Peter Polansky 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in just under two hours.
The 2010 semi-finalist denied five of six break point chances by Polansky for his 14th match win in the French capital. He is coming off a run to the final at the Portugal Open (l. to Berlocq) earlier this month. Polansky, meanwhile, was competing in his first Grand Slam event since the 2010 US Open.
"I think he brought some confidence and some good rhythm to the first round," said Berdych. "He had not much to lose. He was playing really solid, so I'm happy with the way I handled it. I won in three sets. I played quite a good game."
Berdych will face Kazakhstan's Aleksandr Nedovyesov in the second round after the World No. 101, who was making his Roland Garros debut, won his first Grand Slam match with a 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-3 victory over Somdev Devvarman.
American John Isner needed to save two set points in the opening set before overcoming French wild card Pierre-Hugues Herbert 7-6(5), 7-6(4), 7-5. The No. 10 seed struck 23 aces and did not drop serve against the 130th-ranked Herbert, who was playing his first Grand Slam match.
"I thought he served pretty well today, but so did I," said Isner. "I have won a lot of matches like that. I think I could have played a little better out there. But all in all, I'm happy to get through and try to keep improving."
Watch Isner vs. Herbert Highlights (Video: French Tennis Federation)
Isner could next face a potential rematch with Nicolas Mahut, whom he famously defeated in the longest match in history, played over three days at the 2010 Championships at Wimbledon. The Frenchman plays his opening match against Kazakhstani Mikhail Kukushkin.
Isner's countryman, Sam Querrey, also won his first-round match Sunday in straight sets, defeating Italian veteran Filippo Volandri 7-6(3), 6-4, 6-3 for his 10th match win of the season. Querrey goes on to play 31st-seeded Russian Dmitry Tursunov, a 6-1, 7-5, 6-2 winner over Italian Potito Starace.
"I felt great," said Querrey. "Couldn't hit my serve much better and my forehand felt good. I think in the next match I will have to execute a little more and be a little sharper. Definitely a great win against a clay-court player."
Ukraine's Alexandr Dolgopolov, the No. 20 seed, finished strongly to defeat Spaniard Albert Ramos 7-6(4), 6-4, 6-1 as darkness fell Sunday. Dolgopolov reached the clay-court final at the Rio Open earlier this season (l. to Nadal).