On Monday Wheaties announced that Andre Agassi would be gracing a special edition of the cereal box to coincide with the start of the French Open. Agassi then went out and suffered one of the most surprising and unexpected losses in the Open era, ranking with Pete Sampras' loss to George Bastl at Wimbledon in 2002, and Lleyton Hewitt's loss to Ivo Karlovic there a year ago. Jerome Haehnel, a 23 year old qualifier from France, ranked 271st in the world, shocked the 1999 French Open champ 6-4, 7-6 (4), 6-3.
"I never got comfortable out there," said Agassi. "There's really no explanation for hitting the ball like that. I wish, I wish I could give you an excuse."
Is this the end in paris for Agassi? "Hard to say. You want to come back, but you just don't know," the oldest man in the tournament said. "It's a year away. That's a long time for me right now. Chances get less every year, for sure."
While everyone may be lining up to declare Agassi over as a threat to win a Grand Slam event, Gothamist isn't so sure. Obviously the clay in Paris does not suit the 34 year old's game, and he paid the price for only having one match on clay before the tournament started. However, Agassi figures to fare better at Wimbledon, with the fast grass courts suited to his killer return game, and back home in the US in August on the hard courts in Queens. It's way too early to count Agassi out, although it's apparent that he must be prepared going into a tournament to be a true threat to win it.
Later in the day No. 2 seed Andy Roddick beat countrymen Todd Martin in straight sets. Roddick is battling a viral infection but hopes to feel better as the tournament progresses. "I guess there's a one or two-day virus going around Paris at the moment," Roddick said. "I got it last night and hopefully I will wake up tomorrow and have a bit of an appetite." There was a bit of controversy at the end of the match when Martin initially refused to shake Roddick's hand after the match due to a disputed line call in the third set. Roddick has never been beyond the third round in Paris and suffered upset first-round defeats in 2002 and 2003.
In other results American Vincent Spadea, seeded 27th, defeated Florent Serra 7-5, 1-6, 4-6, 7-6 (9-7), 9-7 while Robby Ginepri lost 6-4, 6-4, 6-0 to Olivier Mutis.
Also yesterday, Juan Carlos Ferrero announced that he will defend his title.