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Raonic Prevails In Young Gun Duel; Tsonga Advances

Paris, France

Raonic© Getty ImagesMilos Raonic had little trouble ousting fellow young gun Nick Kyrgios.

Eighth seed Milos Raonic fired past fellow rising star Nick Kyrgios to open his Roland Garros campaign on Sunday on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

Raonic triumphed 6-3, 7-6(1), 6-3 in exactly two hours, blasting 27 aces, 54 total winners and breaking serve four times in 10 opportunities. The 23 year old enters Paris with a career-high Emirates ATP Ranking of No. 9 after reaching his first clay-court ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final in Rome two weeks ago.

"I felt very good," exclaimed Raonic. "I was able to do the things I wanted to do. In the first round you go in not knowing exactly how things are going to play out, and I was able to, when it mattered, put forward the right attitude and the right level of tennis. I'm happy with that."

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Kyrgios, who is the youngest man in this year's field at 19 years of age, won his first Grand Slam match at Roland Garros in 2013 (d. Stepanek).

"It's exciting to be out here playing another Grand Slam," said the Australian. "I played really well from the back. There were a couple loose errors here and there, but that's the pressure he gives you on his serve."

In a first-round meeting between Frenchmen, No. 13 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga improved to a 6-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head mark against Edouard Roger-Vasselin as he claimed a 7-6(4), 7-5, 6-2 victory. Tsonga capitalised on five of his 15 break point chances and struck 47 winners.

"After the first two sets I felt better, and I was more aggressive then," said Tsonga. "I hope that next time or for the following match I'll be able to do this from the beginning."

The 29 year old enjoyed his best run in Paris last year, when he reached the semi-finals (l. to Ferrer) with victory over past champion Roger Federer. He will next play the winner between Belgian David Goffin and Austrian Jurgen Melzer.

In other action, Jarkko Nieminen won his 50th Grand Slam match, overcoming Michal Przysiezny 6-7(7), 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-4 in just under four hours. Nieminen won five of 21 break points garnered, benefiting from 80 unforced errors by his Polish opponent.

Nieminen will face another Pole, No. 22 seed Jerzy Janowicz, in the second round after the young gun beat Grand Slam debutant Victor Estrella Burgos 6-1, 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-4. Estrella is the second player from the Dominican Republic to compete in a major (Manuel Morales).

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