Former champion Andre Agassi of the United States has been knocked out of the opening round of the French Open tennis tournament outside of Paris.
The 35-year-old Agassi is one of just five men to win all four Grand Slam titles. But Tuesday the sixth-seed was hobbled by a nerve injury in his back that affects his right hip and leg. When the injury flared up in the third set, Agassi was barely able to run and fell to Finnish qualifier Jarkko Nieminen, 7-5, 4-6, 6-7, 6-1, 6-0.
Second-seeded Andy Roddick of the United States, number-three Marat Safin of Russia and eighth-seeded Guillermo Coria of Argentina all advanced. Roddick beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. Safin needed four sets but advanced past Dutchman Raemon Sluiter, (6-1, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2) and Coria topped Kenneth Carlsen of Denmark (6-4, 6-2, 6-4). But number-13 Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia was upset by Mariano Puerta of Argentina in straight sets (7-5, 7-5, 6-2).
In women's play, three top-10 seeded Russians won their opening matches and moved into the second round. Number-two Maria Sharapova rallied to defeat countrywoman Evgenia Linetskaya, 6-7, 6-2, 6-4, sixth-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia scored an easy 6-1, 6-1 win over Mathilde Johansson of France, and number-seven Nadia Petrova topped American Mashona Washington, 6-4, 6-2.
Third seed Amelie Mauresmo of France easily beat Australian Evie Dominikovic, 6-2, 6-1. Tenth-seeded Belgian Justine Henin-Hardenne also advanced, extending her winning streak to 18 matches with a 6-0, 4-6, 6-4 victory over Conchita Martinez of Spain.