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Monday 28 May 2006

First Round Top Half


Show court matches


No. 1 Roger Federer (SUI) v Michael Russell (USA)

  No. 11 Richard Gasquet (FRA) v (WC) Nicolas Mahut (FRA)



SUZANNE LENGLEN:           No. 7 Ivan Ljubicic (CRO) v Arnaud Clement (FRA)

                                          Olivier Rochus (BEL) v Gael Monfils (FRA)


COURT 1:                            No. 4 Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) v Stefano Galvani (ITA)

                                           No. 5 Fernando Gonzalez (CHI) v Radek Stepanek (CZE)


COURT 2:                            No. 9 Tommy Robredo (ESP) v Sergio Roitman (ARG)

                                           No. 18 Juan Ignacio Chela (ARG) v Fabrice Santoro (FRA)


COURT 3:                            No. 17 Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP) v Amer Delic (USA)


COURT 7:                            No. 30 Julien Benneteau (FRA) v Carlos Berlocq (ARG)

                                           No. 15 David Nalbandian (ARG) v Hyung-Taik Lee (KOR)


OTHER MATCHES:                   No. 13 Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) v Jan Hernych (CZE)

                                    No. 19 Guillermo Canas (FRA) v Victor Hanescu (ROU)

                                                No. 27 Jurgen Melzer (AUT) v Jose Acasuso (ARG)

                                                Martin Verkerk (NED) v Simone Bolelli (ITA)


On court today…


·         For the third time at Roland Garros, Roger Federer begins his quest to claim the trophy that would complete his Grand Slam collection. He has a first-time meeting with Michael Russell, who is best known as the qualifier who had a match point against eventual champion Gustavo Kuerten in the round of 16 here in 2001. Federer is bidding to become the first No. 1 seed to win the Roland Garros title since Kuerten six years ago.


·         Fabrice Santoro, 34, clocks up his 59th Grand Slam tournament appearance, and 35th consecutive major when he plays Acapulco champion Juan Ignacio Chela. The veteran Frenchman is now within two majors of equalling Andre Agassi’s Open Era record of 61 Grand Slam appearances.


·         Two-time semifinalist David Nalbandian plays just his ninth event of 2007, and in a first-time meeting with Hyung-Taik Lee looks to get his season back on track after absences caused by a lingering back injury. It was Nalbandian’s retirement with an abdominal injury in the semis here last year that handed Roger Federer his first Roland Garros final.


·         2005 semifinalist Nikolay Davydenko meets Stefano Galvani for the first time. Both men celebrate their birthdays during the tournament, Davydenko turning 26 on 2 June, and Galvani turning 30 a day later.


·         2003 champion Juan Carlos Ferrero, whose clay court highlights this season include a runner-up finish at Costa do Sauipe, has a first-time meeting with Amer Delic. The American is making his Roland Garros debut today.


·         2003 runner-up Martin Verkerk returns after a long-term shoulder injury, which put him out of the game for two years, and opens his first Grand Slam campaign since Wimbledon 2004 against Simone Bolelli, who is making his Grand Slam debut today.


·         French No. 1 Richard Gasquet meets countryman Nicolas Mahut in one of three all-French first round match-ups. Gasquet, who won the 2002 boys’ singles here, faces another junior Grand Slam champ in Mahut, who won the 2000 Wimbledon boys’ singles.


·         Another former Roland Garros boys’ champion, Gael Monfils, who won his first matches since the Australian Open when reaching the final at Portschach last week, takes on Olivier Rochus, who is bidding to snap a five-match losing streak.


·         AMS Rome runner-up Fernando Gonzalez bids to recreate the Grand Slam form that took him all the way to the 2007 Australian Open final. He plays Radek Stepanek, still on the comeback trail following a four-month lay-off due to a back injury at the end of last year.


·         Ivan Ljubicic, who broke through to reach his first Grand Slam semifinal at last year’s Roland Garros, takes on one of the 21 Frenchmen in the men’s draw when he plays Arnaud Clement. Clement is returning for his tenth Roland Garros after missing last year’s tournament with a torn left adductor.


·         Another Frenchman, 2006 quarterfinalist Julien Benneteau who receives his first Grand Slam seeding here, faces Carlos Berlocq. The Argentine is looking for his first victory in a major at his fourth attempt.


·         Tommy Robredo, who has never lost in the first round here, bids to maintain that record against Sergio Roitman, who is bidding for his first victory at a Grand Slam event.


·         Costa do Sauipe winner Guillermo Canas makes his first Grand Slam appearance since 2005 Roland Garros when he plays Victor Hanescu. The Romanian is also playing the tournament for the first time in two years following six months out with a back injury.


·         Munich finalist Mikhail Youzhny hopes to continue the good form which has already seen him reach three finals this year. He gets underway against Jan Hernych, who has won one match in two previous Roland Garros appearances.


·         Jose Acasuso bids to extend a three-match winning streak when he takes on Jurgen Melzer. The Austrian has the highest Grand Slam seeding of his career.







Head-to-head: first meeting


                       FEDERER                                           v                                        RUSSELL


                            25                                              Age                                           29

                             1                                        ATP Ranking                                    68

                            48                                             Titles                                           0

                         119-21                         Career Grand Slam Record                        3-11

                           20-8                              Roland Garros Record                            3-2

                        511-132                                  Career Record                                 21-50

                          96-35                               Career Record - Clay                             8-20

                           24-4                                      2007 Record                                    6-7

                           10-2                                 2007 Record - Clay                               3-4

                           9-10                             Career Five-Set Record                           1-2

                             3                             Comebacks from 0-2 Down                          1

                        190-108                          Career Tiebreak Record                         10-18

                            6-3                                2007 Tiebreak Record                             2-2


·         Federer is making his ninth appearance at Roland Garros, having played every year since making his Grand Slam debut as a wild card in 1999.


·         Federer has lost in the first round here three times: in 1999 (falling to Patrick Rafter 57 63 60 62), 2002 (as No. 8 seed losing to Hicham Arazi 63 62 64) and 2003 (as No. 5 seed losing to Luis Horna 76 62 76).


·         Federer reached the Roland Garros final for the first time last year, becoming the seventh man in the Open Era to reach the final at all four Grand Slam events (the others are Andre Agassi, Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Ivan Lendl, Stefan Edberg and Jim Courier). Federer’s loss in the final to defending champion Rafael Nadal 16 61 64 76 was one of just five losses for Federer in 2006, four of which were to Nadal (the fifth was to Andy Murray).


·         For the third successive year, Federer is bidding at Roland Garros to become only the sixth man in history to win all four Grand Slam titles. The five men to have achieved the ‘career Grand Slam’ are Andre Agassi, Don Budge, Roy Emerson, Rod Laver and Fred Perry. Budge and Laver, of course, won the much-coveted Grand Slam, Budge winning all four major tournaments in a single calendar year in 1938, before Laver did so in 1962 and 1969.


·         With his chances of achieving both a career Grand Slam and a true (calendar year) Grand Slam still alive, Federer is also bidding, for the second successive year, to become just the third man in history to win four majors in a row. Of the five men to win all four majors in their careers, only Budge and Laver held all four titles at the same time. Perry, Emerson and Agassi were never able to win four consecutive Grand Slam tournaments.


·         In the 38 years since Laver completed his second Grand Slam in 1969, Agassi is the only man to have been able to capture the elusive fourth different major. In that time, 11 other men have collected three of the four major titles. In every case, the players failed to win either Roland Garros or Wimbledon to complete their set. [For more detail see Preview page 3.]


·         Federer has collected his ten Grand Slam titles in his last 15 Grand Slam tournaments. En route to the 2007 Australian Open crown, he advanced to his 11th successive Grand Slam semifinal, setting a new Open Era record for consecutive Grand Slam semifinal appearances. He became the first man to win a Grand Slam title without dropping a set since Bjorn Borg at 1980 Roland Garros.


·         Although Federer has won three titles so far in 2007, by his standards this season has been disappointing. His victory at AMS Hamburg last week broke a run of four straight tournament losses, his longest streak without winning a title since taking over the No. 1 ranking in February 2004. After winning the Australian Open and Dubai, Federer lost in the second round at AMS Indian Wells to Guillermo Canas 75 62 (after a first round bye), and again to Canas, 76 26 76, in the round of 16 at AMS Miami. Federer reached the final at AMS Monte Carlo before losing to Rafael Nadal, and was then upset by wild card Filippo Volandri 62 64 in the round of 16 at AMS Rome.


·         Federer’s recent victory at Hamburg was his fourth win at the tournament and marked his first defeat of Rafael Nadal in six clay court meetings. He defeated the Spaniard 26 62 60 in the final to improve his career head-to-head against Nadal to 4-7.


·         Gustavo Kuerten was the last No. 1 seed to win Roland Garros, in 2001. It is however 17 years since the No. 1 seed lost in the first round here.


·         Russell is making his third Roland Garros main draw appearance, but first for five years.


·         Russell has played here twice before. As a qualifier in 2001 he made a sensational debut, advancing to the round of 16 with wins over Nicolas Mahut, Sergi Bruguera and Xavier Malisse in the first three rounds. He then had a match point against Gustavo Kuerten before losing 36 46 76 63 61 to the Brazilian, who went on to defend his title.


·         2001 Roland Garros marks the only time in 11 previous appearances in Grand Slam events that Russell has won any matches. He played Roland Garros the following year, in 2002, that time losing in the first round to Arnaud di Pasquale 64 60 46 61.


·         Russell’s 11 Grand Slam singles appearances have been spread over a ten-year professional career. Until qualifying at the 2006 US Open, he had not reached the main draw of a major for 17 tournaments (since 2002 Wimbledon). During that time he made four attempts to qualify for a Grand Slam tournament, including once for Roland Garros, falling in the first round of qualifying here last year to Teimuraz Gabashvili 16 63 64.


·         Russell reached a career-high ranking of No. 66 on 30 April this year, not long after his best performance in 2007, which was reaching the last 16 at AMS Indian Wells as a wild card. He upset Tomas Berdych in the second round and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the third round before losing to Juan Ignacio Chela 64 64. It was the first time he’d won an ATP match since January 2003, and the first time he’d won three matches in a tour-level tournament since reaching the round of 16 here in 2001.


·         On clay, Russell has played four events ahead of coming here, but failed to pass the second round anywhere.


·         The 2007 challenger circuit, Russell has a 15-0 record, winning three hard court titles: New Caledonia (CAL), Waikoloa (USA) and Joplin (USA) in the first two months of the season.


·         Russell has been hindered by three knee operations and a torn hamstring in the past four seasons, but began his climb back up the rankings last year, finishing 2006 with his highest year-end ranking (No. 145) for five years.



Head-to-head: first meeting

Gasquet is undefeated against countrymen in Grand Slam events, having defeated Gilles Simon in the second round at the 2006 US Open and Gael Monfils in the third round at the 2007 Australian Open. This is one of three all-French match-ups in the first round of the men’s singles draw here this year.


                              GASQUET                                                        v                                                       MAHUT


                                      20                                                              Age                                                         25

                                      13                                                    ATP Ranking                                               108

                                       4                                                             Titles                                                         0

                                   15-14                                  Career Grand Slam Record                               4-12

                                     3-5                                          Roland Garros Record                                      0-5

                                  105-71                                              Career Record                                           25-57

                                   39-28                                         Career Record - Clay                                      4-12

                                   24-11                                                  2007 Record                                               6-10

                                     9-5                                              2007 Record - Clay                                         1-1

                                     3-6                                        Career Five-Set Record                                    0-1

                                       0                                       Comebacks from 0-2 Down                                   0

                                   37-41                                     Career Tiebreak Record                                   8-27

                                     5-8                                          2007 Tiebreak Record                                      1-5


·         Gasquet is playing in his sixth successive Roland Garros. He lost in the first round on his first three appearances but has reached at least the second round since then.


·         Last year, Gasquet reaced the second round, defeating Yeu-Tzuoo Wang 64 61 75 in the first round, falling to David Nalbandian 62 36 75 60.


·         Gasquet posted his best Roland Garros performance in 2005, advancing to the third round before falling to eventual champion Rafael Nadal 64 63 62.


·         In the lead-up to Roland Garros, Gasquet reached the final at Estoril, losing to Novak Djokovic 76 06 61 and also advanced to the quarterfinals at AMS Monte Carlo (l. Juan Carlos Ferrero 57 75 62). He lost in the second round at both AMS Rome (to Filippo Volandri) and AMS Hamburg (to Jurgen Melzer).


·         Reaching the final at Estoril is the best result of 2007 for Gasquet so far, though in the early part of the season he won three matches in a row to reach the semifinals at Sydney and the round of 16 at the Australian Open, both on hard court. He has not lost in the first round at any of the ten tournaments he has played this year to date.


·         Mahut is playing at Roland Garros for the sixth time and has yet to advance beyond the first round.


·         Last year he lost to Jiri Vanek 63 76 67 76 in the first round here, which at the time was his ninth successive first round defeat in a major. Since losing to Vanek here last year, Mahut has advanced to at least the second round at the other three majors so Roland Garros remains the only major at which he is yet to win a match.


·         Mahut has played just one tournament on clay at tour level prior to coming here, advancing to the second round at Casablanca as a qualifier before losing to countryman Marc Gicquel 62 64.


·         Mahut’s best result in 2007 came at AMS Indian Wells, where he advanced to the third round, defeating Juan Monaco and Marat Safin in the first two rounds before losing 61 63 to Tim Henman. This is the only occasion that Mahut has won back-to-back matches this year at tour level.


·         Mahut has also failed to win back-to-back matches at challenger level this year. He has played three challengers on clay in the lead-up to Roland Garros, advancing to the second round at Rijeka and Zagreb (both CRO) and losing in the first round at Marrakech.








Head-to-head: Ljubicic leads 5-2

2003     Halle                             Grass (O)          R16      Clement            64 62

2004     Davis Cup WG1R           Clay (I)              R4        Clement            62 36 76 64

2004     AMS Miami                   Hard (O)            R64      Ljubicic             36 63 62

2004     AMS Rome                   Clay (O)            R64      Ljubicic             63 26 76

2004     Lyon                             Carpet (I)           R32      Ljubicic             64 76

2004     AMS Paris                    Carpet (I)           R64      Ljubicic             63 76

2006     AMS Toronto                 Hard (O)            R32      Ljubicic             76 64


                              LJUBICIC                                           v                                        CLEMENT


                            28                                              Age                                           29

                             7                                              Titles                                           4

                          26-30                          Career Grand Slam Record                       49-37

                            8-7                               Roland Garros Record                            8-9

                        304-199                                  Career Record                               254-241

                          71-59                               Career Record - Clay                            41-57

                          24-11                                      2007 Record                                  10-12

                            3-4                                  2007 Record - Clay                               3-4

                           7-13                             Career Five-Set Record                           8-14

                             3                             Comebacks from 0-2 Down                          3

                        148-151                          Career Tiebreak Record                        106-85

                          15-10                              2007 Tiebreak Record                             5-8


·         Ljubicic is making his eighth successive appearance at Roland Garros and has lost in the first round on four occasions.


·         In 30 previous Grand Slam appearances, Ljubicic has lost in the first round on 15 occasions.


·         At last year’s Roland Garros, Ljubicic broke through to reach his first Grand Slam semifinal, before losing to Rafael Nadal 64 62 76, which is still his best performance in a major to date.


·         Ljubicic has failed to win back-to-back matches in his four clay court tournaments before coming here, advancing to the third round, after a first round bye, at both AMS Monte Carlo (l. Richard Gasquet 63 67 75) and AMS Hamburg (l. David Ferrer 63 63) and the second round at Portschach last week (l. Luis Horna 76 64).


·         Ljubicic won the seventh title of his career in the first week of the 2007 season at Doha, on hard court, defeating Andy Murray 64 64 in the final. He also reached finals at Rotterdam on hard court (l. Mikhail Youzhny 62 64) and at Zagreb, on carpet, (l. Marcos Baghdatis 76 46 64), as well as reaching the semifinals at AMS Miami, on hard court, losing to Guillermo Canas 75 62.


·         Clement is making his tenth Roland Garros appearance and has lost in the first round here on four previous occasions.


·         Clement is making his first appearance here for two years, having missed last year’s tournament with a torn left adductor. On his last appearance here in 2005, Clement advanced to the second round, losing to Nicolas Kiefer 46 62 62 46 64.


·         Clement’s best performance at Roland Garros came in 2003 when he advanced to the round of 16 before losing to Albert Costa 62 75 75.


·         Clement has reached the second round at three of his four warm-up events on clay, at AMS Monte Carlo (l. Tommy Robredo), Casablanca (l. Sebastien Grosjean) and AMS Hamburg (l. James Blake). He also lost in the first round at Munich to eventual champion Philipp Kohlschreiber.


·         Clement has won back-to-back matches just once in 2007. At Zagreb on indoor carpet, he advanced to the quarterfinals, defeating Marin Cilic and Lukas Dlouhy before falling to eventual champion Marcos Baghdatis 62 67 76.



Head-to-head: Rochus leads 3-0

2005     Australian Open             Hard (O)            R64      Rochus             61 63 63

2006     AMS Monte Carlo          Clay (O)            R64      Rochus             46 64 61

2006     New Haven                    Hard (O)            R16      Rochus             64 63


                       ROCHUS                                                          v                                                     MONFILS


                                      26                                                              Age                                                         20

                                      47                                                    ATP Ranking                                                52

                                       2                                                             Titles                                                         1

                                   30-27                                  Career Grand Slam Record                                9-9

                                     6-6                                          Roland Garros Record                                      3-2

                                163-167                                             Career Record                                           55-54

                                   47-62                                         Career Record - Clay                                     19-17

                                   11-15                                                  2007 Record                                               7-11

                                     2-9                                              2007 Record - Clay                                         4-4

                                   10-16                                      Career Five-Set Record                                    3-1

                                       1                                       Comebacks from 0-2 Down                                   0

                                   60-89                                     Career Tiebreak Record                                 26-20

                                     3-6                                          2007 Tiebreak Record                                      5-4


·         Rochus is playing at Roland Garros for the seventh successive year and has lost in the first round on two of his previous six appearances.


·         Last year, Rochus advanced to the third round here before losing to Alberto Martin 75 46 67 61 64.


·         Rochus’s performance here last year equalled his best at Roland Garros, achieved on his debut in 2001, when he lost to Yevgeny Kafelnikov 76 64 63 at that stage.


·         Rochus comes into Roland Garros on a five-match losing streak and has won just two matches on clay in 2007. He defeated Chris Guccione 36 75 62 63 in the first rubber of the 2007 Davis Cup World Group first round tie between Belgium and Australia, which Belgium won 3-2 and also advanced to the second round at AMS Rome, defeating Michael Llodra 57 63 63 before losing to Mikhail Youzhny 76 63.


·         Rochus has reached two quarterfinals on hard court in 2007, at Doha (l. Nikolay Davydenko 64 63) and at Dubai (l. Tommy Haas 60 62).


·         Monfils is making his third successive appearance at Roland Garros.


·         Last year, Monfils reached the round of 16 here, winning three five-set matches in the first three rounds before losing to Novak Djokovic 76 76 63 at that stage. This is the furthest that Monfils has ever progressed at a major.


·         Monfils reached the fifth final of his career at Portschach last week, defeating Andy Roddick 75 63 in the quarterfinals and Lleyton Hewitt 64 75 in the semifinals before losing to Juan Monaco 76 63.


·         Monfils arrived at Portschach on an eight-match losing streak. The last time that he had won back-to-back matches in 2007 was at the Australian Open, where he advanced to the third round before losing to countryman Richard Gasquet 60 46 75 63.


·         Monfils was the Roland Garros junior boys’ singles champion in 2004 (d. Alex Kuznetsov 62 62). He also won the boys’ singles titles at that year’s Australian Open and Wimbledon and finished the year as the No.1-ranked junior and was named ITF Junior World Champion.






Head-to-head: first meeting


                           DAVYDENKO                                                      v                                                     GALVANI


                                     25*                                                             Age                                                        29**

                                       4                                                     ATP Ranking                                               117

                                      10                                                            Titles                                                         0

                                   37-24                                  Career Grand Slam Record                                3-7

                                    12-6                                        Roland Garros Record                                      1-3

                                232-175                                             Career Record                                           17-32

                                  109-70                                       Career Record - Clay                                      9-17

                                   23-14                                                  2007 Record                                                3-6

                                     8-6                                              2007 Record - Clay                                         2-5

                                     7-5                                        Career Five-Set Record                                    3-1

                                       3                                       Comebacks from 0-2 Down                                   0

                                   61-64                                     Career Tiebreak Record                                   8-14

                                     9-8                                          2007 Tiebreak Record                                      1-4

* Turns 26 on 2 June

** Turns 30 on 3 June


·         Davydenko is appearing at Roland Garros for the seventh time. He reached the quarterfinals here last year, losing to David Nalbandian 63 63 26 64.


·         Davydenko reached his first Grand Slam semifinal at 2005 Roland Garros before losing to eventual runner-up Mariano Puerta 63 57 26 64 64. He matched that by reaching the semifinals at the 2006 US Open (l. eventual champion Roger Federer 61 75 64).


·         Davydenko played at Portschach last week, having won the title in Austria for the past two years. This time however, as No. 1 seed, he lost in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Juan Monaco 62 67 64.


·         Davydenko’s best result on clay so far this year was reaching the semifinals at AMS Rome, where he defeated Tommy Robredo 16 63 63 in the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion Rafael Nadal 76 67 64 in a match lasting three hours, 38 minutes.


·         Davydenko’s best results on all surfaces this season have been semifinal finishes, reaching the last four at Doha and indoors at Rotterdam, both on hard court, before doing so at AMS Rome. He was also a quarterfinalist for the third successive year at the Australian Open (l. Tommy Haas 63 26 16 61 75).


·         Galvani is making his fourth appearance at Roland Garros. He reached the second round here for the first time last year as a qualifier, defeating Florian Mayer 46 60 76 36 75 in the opening round then losing in five sets to Albert Montanes 75 61 36 26 64.


·         Galvani has never advanced beyond the second round at any major, having played seven majors in his career ahead of this one.


·         Galvani entered the main draw for 2007 Roland Garros when Mario Ancic withdrew due to mononucleosis (glandular fever).


·         Galvani reached a career-best ranking of No. 99 on 2 April this year. Roland Garros is his sixth tour-level event of the year, and five of his six tour-level appearances have been on clay. His tour highlights to date in 2007 are winning one match at Chennai (d. Yen-Hsun Lu 62 63), Buenos Aires (d. Diego Juqueira 64 46 75) and Acapulo (d. Jan Hajek 63 62).


·         Playing on the 2007 challenger circuit, Galvani won the title at Rabat (MAR) on clay in March, defeating Olivier Patience 61 61 in the final. He reached his career-high ranking (see above) shortly after.




Head-to-head: Gonzalez leads 1-0

2004     World Team Cup            Clay (O)            R2        Gonzalez          63 64


Having beaten Stepanek at the World Team Cup three years ago, Gonzalez went on to help Chile successfully defend the team title.


                      GONZALEZ                                          v                                       STEPANEK


                            26                                              Age                                           28

                             7                                              Titles                                           1

                          42-24                          Career Grand Slam Record                       26-18

                           10-6                              Roland Garros Record                            5-4

                        254-139                                  Career Record                               158-124

                         119-56                              Career Record - Clay                            58-40

                          20-10                                      2007 Record                                   8-11

                           11-7                                 2007 Record - Clay                               2-5

                           11-9                             Career Five-Set Record                           8-10

                             3                             Comebacks from 0-2 Down                          3

                         103-69                           Career Tiebreak Record                         67-71

                            6-5                                2007 Tiebreak Record                             2-8


·         Gonzalez is making his seventh consecutive appearance at Roland Garros. He has only once lost in the first round, falling to Florian Mayer 67 61 60 76 in the opening round in 2004.


·         Gonzalez reached the second round here last year, defeating Marat Safin 63 16 63 61 in the first round before losing to Novak Djokovic 64 61 36 46 61.


·         Gonzalez’s best result at Roland Garros was reaching the quarterfinals in 2003, losing to eventual champion Juan Carlos Ferrero 61 36 61 57 64.


·         Gonzalez started 2007 by reaching his first Grand Slam final at the Australian Open, having never previously advanced beyond the quarterfinals of a major. He defeated Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals and Tommy Haas in the semis before losing to Roger Federer 76 64 64.


·         After the Australian Open, Gonzalez’s other standout result this year was on clay, at AMS Rome, where he was runner-up to Rafael Nadal (l. 62 62 in the final).


·         Gonzalez represented Chile in the World Team Cup last week. Chile won the title in 2003-04, but this year was defeated in the round robin stages. Gonzalez won his first two matches, defeating James Blake 64 75 and Robin Soderling 46 75 64, before losing to Juan Ignacio Chela 63 75.


·         Stepanek is playing Roland Garros for the fifth straight year. He reached the third round here last year, as No. 11 seed losing to Julien Benneteau 57 75 76 63.


·         The third round is the furthest Stepanek has advanced at Roland Garros. As well as last year, he reached the third round in 2005, as No. 16 seed losing to Sebastien Grosjean 61 46 36 63 64.


·         Stepanek has played a full season so far in 2007 after returning from four months out with a back injury. He did not play last year after reaching his first Grand Slam quarterfinals at Wimbledon, suffering the injury while practising for AMS Toronto.


·         Stepanek’s results since his comeback at 2007 Adelaide have been mixed and he was ranked No. 57 the week of 21 May, having reached a career-high ranking of No. 8 on 10 July 2006. His highlight this year is reaching the last 16 at AMS Miami before losing to Tommy Robredo, and he also reached the third round at the Australian Open.


·         On clay in 2007, Stepanek’s best results are reaching the second round at AMS Monte Carlo and AMS Rome. He fell in the opening round at Barcelona, Munich and AMS Hamburg.





Head-to-head: first meeting


                      ROBREDO                                                        v                                                     ROITMAN


                                      25                                                              Age                                                         28

                                       9                                                     ATP Ranking                                                83

                                       4                                                             Titles                                                         0

                                   48-25                                  Career Grand Slam Record                                0-3

                                    19-6                                        Roland Garros Record                                      0-2

                                273-169                                             Career Record                                           11-24

                                  125-57                                       Career Record - Clay                                     10-18

                                   23-14                                                  2007 Record                                               5-12

                                     7-5                                              2007 Record - Clay                                         5-9

                                     6-3                                        Career Five-Set Record                                    0-2

                                       1                                       Comebacks from 0-2 Down                                   0

                                   89-73                                     Career Tiebreak Record                                    5-4

                                     4-6                                          2007 Tiebreak Record                                      2-3


·         Robredo is playing his seventh successive Roland Garros and has reached at least the third round on all of his six previous appearances.


·         Last year, as No. 7 seed, Robredo reached the round of 16 before losing to Mario Ancic 64 46 26 64 75.


·         Robredo has reached the Roland Garros quarterfinals on two occasions, in 2003 and 2005. In 2003, he let slip a two-set lead and lost to countryman Albert Costa at that stage and also lost in five sets in the last eight in 2005, falling to Nikolay Davydenko.


·         Robredo has played five clay court events this year in the lead-up to Roland Garros. His best result was at Estoril, where he advanced to the semifinals, losing to Novak Djokovic 75 61. He also reached the quarterfinals at AMS Rome, falling to Nikolay Davydenko 16 63 63.


·         Robredo enjoyed a good start to the 2007 season, reaching the final at Auckland on hard (l. David Ferrer 64 62) and then advancing to the Australian Open quarterfinals (l. Roger Federer 63 76 75) and equalling his best performance in a major (he also reached the quarterfinals here in 2003 and 2005, see above).


·         Roitman is making his third appearance at Roland Garros, his first as a direct entrant.


·         Roitman is bidding for his first Grand Slam victory here today, having lost on both of his previous appearances here and in his only other appearance in a major, at this year’s Australian Open.


·         Last year, as a qualifier, Roitman lost to Domink Hrbaty 64 62 36 26 63 in the first round. He also lost in five sets on his debut here in 2003, when as a lucky loser he fell to defending champion Albert Costa 67 26 75 62 62.


·         Roitman arrives here on a four-match losing streak and won just two matches in his five clay-court events leading in to Roland Garros. He reached the second round at Valencia (l. Evgeny Korolev 16 75 60) and AMS Monte Carlo (l. Max Mirnyi 75 64).


·         Roitman’s best result of 2007, and his career to date, came at Vina Del Mar. He won both his round-robin matches to advance to his first career quarterfinal, where he retired with an adductor injury, when level with Nicolas Massu 06 76.




Head-to-head: tied 1-1

2002     Stockholm         Hard (I)              R32      Santoro             61 63

2005     New Haven        Hard (O)            R16      Chela                64 61


                                 CHELA                                                            v                                                    SANTORO


                                      27                                                              Age                                                         34

                                      21                                                    ATP Ranking                                                55

                                       4                                                             Titles                                                         4

                                   27-24                                  Career Grand Slam Record                              56-58

                                     8-6                                          Roland Garros Record                                   16-17

                                225-178                                             Career Record                                         422-398

                                  121-79                                       Career Record - Clay                                  132-136

                                   27-12                                                  2007 Record                                               10-7

                                    17-8                                            2007 Record - Clay                                         0-0

                                     0-8                                        Career Five-Set Record                                  18-14

                                       0                                       Comebacks from 0-2 Down                                   1

                                   74-75                                     Career Tiebreak Record                               139-119

                                     4-7                                          2007 Tiebreak Record                                      5-1


·         Chela is playing Roland Garros for the seventh time. He lost in the first round last year to Fernando Verdasco 61 63 67 64.


·         Chela has lost in the first round here twice. As well as last year, he fell in the Roland Garros opening round in 2002, to Adrian Voinea 76 75 46 76.


·         Chela recorded his career-best Grand Slam result at 2004 Roland Garros when he reached the quarterfinals. As No. 22 seed, he defeated Olivier Mutis 46 62 76 62 in the round of 16 before losing to Tim Henman 62 64 64.


·         At No. 18 here, Chela has his received the second-highest Grand Slam seeding of his career. His highest Grand Slam seeding was at the 2004 US Open, where he was seeded No. 17.


·         Chela is having a good year. He plays here ranked No. 21, having finished 2006 at No. 33, and won his fourth career singles title on clay at Acapulco in March, defeating Carlos Moya 63 76 in the final. He has played well on all surfaces, reaching the semifinals at Costa do Sauipe (clay) and the quarterfinals at Auckland (hard), AMS Indian Wells (hard), AMS Miami (hard) and AMS Rome (clay).


·         Chela was part of the Argentine team that won its third World Team Cup title in Dusseldorf last week, alongside Jose Acasuso, Agustin Calleri and Sebastian Prieto. Chela went 1-2 in singles in the event, his sole victory being over Fernando Gonzalez 63 75 in the round robin. He lost the opening match of the final versus Czech Republic, to Tomas Berdych 36 63 76, but Argentina came back to win 2-1.


·         Santoro is making his 18th appearance at Roland Garros, having played here more times than any other man in the draw. Since making his Grand Slam debut as a wild card here in 1989, he has competed in his home Grand Slam event every year except 1996.


·         Overall, 2007 Roland Garros is Santoro’s 59th Grand Slam event. He is chasing Andre Agassi’s record number of Open Era Grand Slam appearances, which stopped at 61 when he retired at last year’s US Open.




Grand Slam Events Played


Andre Agassi



Fabrice Santoro



Michael Chang



Jimmy Connors



Wayne Ferreira



Ivan Lendl


Players at 2007 Roland Garros in bold (totals include this event)


·         Santoro is also playing his 35th consecutive Grand Slam event here, which places him seventh on the Open Era list for most successive appearances at majors. [For more details see page 5 of the Preview.]


·         At 34, Santoro is the secold oldest man starting in the draw behind 35-year-old Jonas Bjorkman.


·         Santoro is bidding for his first win at Roland Garros for three years. He lost in the first round last year to Chela’s fellow Argentine Jose Acasuso 63 61 36 16 119, and in 2005 in the first round to Jan Hernych 76 36 61 46 64.


·         Santoro’s best Roland Garros results are reaching the round of 16 ten years apart, in 1991 (l. Michael Stich 63 61 62) and 2001 (l. eventual runner-up Alex Corretja 62 63 64).


·         Santoro was also involved in a notable match here in 2004, when he and countryman Arnaud Clement set a new record for the longest known men’s match in history. The pair took part in a six hour, 33-minute marathon in the first round, which Santoro won 64 63 67 36 1614 after saving two match points. (He went on to a third round finish.)


·         Santoro has played a sparing singles schedule in 2007, Roland Garros being just his eighth event. His highlights to date are quarterfinal finishes at Chennai and Dubai, and he also reached the third round at the Australian Open and AMS Miami. In doubles, he has won two titles with regular partner Nenad Zimonjic: Dubai and AMS Rome.


·         Santoro was runner-up in men’s doubles at 2004 Roland Garros with Michael Llodra, losing to Xavier Malisse/Olivier Rochus 75 75 in the final. He won the mixed doubles title here in 2005 with Daniela Hantuchova.





Head-to-head: first meeting


                       FERRERO                                           v                                          DELIC


                            27                                              Age                                           24

                            11                                             Titles                                           0

                          73-27                          Career Grand Slam Record                        3-4

                           28-6                              Roland Garros Record                            0-0

                        350-179                                  Career Record                                 12-25

                         184-62                              Career Record - Clay                             1-3

                          19-12                                      2007 Record                                   7-10

                           16-8                                 2007 Record - Clay                               1-3

                          17-13                             Career Five-Set Record                           1-1

                             1                             Comebacks from 0-2 Down                          0

                        130-100                          Career Tiebreak Record                          6-11

                            6-3                                2007 Tiebreak Record                             2-5


·         2003 champion Ferrero is making his eighth appearance at Roland Garros, having played every year since his run to the semifinals on his debut in 2000.


·         Ferrero advanced to the third round here last year, losing to Gaston Gaudio 75 75 76.


·         Ferrero won his lone Grand Slam title here four years ago, defeating Martin Verkerk 61 63 62 in the final. In the semifinals Ferrero had beaten Albert Costa, avenging his defeat by Costa in the 2002 final.


·         Ferrero has recovered from his fall to as low as No. 98 in the rankings in February 2005, but hasn’t recaptured the form that took him to the title here in 2003 and is still searching for his first title since 2003 AMS Madrid.


·         Ferrero’s best results in 2007 have been on clay. He reached the final at Costa do Sauipe, losing to Guillermo Canas 76 62, and was a semifinalist at Acapulco (l. Carlos Moya 26 62 63) and AMS Monte Carlo (l. Roger Federer 63 64).


·         Ferrero was runner-up in the Roland Garros boys’ tournament in 1998, losing to Fernando Gonzalez 46 64 63 in the final.


·         Delic is making his Roland Garros main draw debut today.


·         Delic played Roland Garros qualifying last year, losing in the second qualifying round to Edgardo Massa 76 63. He also competed in qualifying here in 2005, losing in the first round.


·         This is Delic’s fifth Grand Slam tournament overall. So far the second round represents his best result, having got that far three times, at the US Open in 2004, and the Australian Open 2006-07. Roland Garros marks Delic’s second Grand Slam appearance as a direct acceptance rather than a qualifier, having also been a direct acceptance in Australia this year.


·         Delic reached a career-high ranking of No. 65 on 14 May, and at 21 May was ranked not far off this at No. 67. His standout result of the 2007 season was reaching the round of 16 at AMS Miami as a qualifier, where he won back-to-back tour-level matches for the first time in his career with wins over Julien Benneteau 64 64 in the first round and Jose Acasuso 60 63 in the second round. Delic then upset No. 4 seed Nikolay Davydenko 76 63 in the third round, before losing to Juan Ignacio Chela 63 62.


·         Roland Garros is Delic’s fourth tour-level clay court tournament of the year. He has one win to date, defeating Robert Kendrick 63 16 75 to reach the second round at Houston.


·         Delic has played two challenger events in 2007, one of which was on clay. He won two matches to reach the quarterfinals at Zagreb in mid May (l. Ramon Delgado 61 62).







Head-to-head: first meeting


                           BENNETEAU                                         v                                       BERLOCQ


                            25                                              Age                                           24

                             0                                              Titles                                           0

                          10-15                          Career Grand Slam Record                        0-3

                            6-5                               Roland Garros Record                            0-1

                          59-79                                    Career Record                                  8-22

                          15-20                               Career Record - Clay                             7-18

                          12-14                                      2007 Record                                    3-4

                            4-4                                  2007 Record - Clay                               3-4

                            1-3                              Career Five-Set Record                           0-0

                             0                             Comebacks from 0-2 Down                          0

                          22-24                            Career Tiebreak Record                           4-4

                            6-3                                2007 Tiebreak Record                             1-0


·         Benneteau is making his sixth successive Roland Garros appearance. He has lost in the first round on three of his previous five apperances.


·         Benneteau is seeded for the first time in a Grand Slam, having achieved a career-high ranking of No. 35 on 21 May.


·         Last year, Benneteau posted a career-best Grand Slam performance in advancing to the quarterfinals where he lost to No. 4 seed Ivan Ljubicic 62 62 63.


·         Benneteau played four clay court tournaments in the lead-up to this year’s Roland Garros, with his best result coming at Casablanca, where he advanced to the quarterfinals (l. Marc Gicquel 36 61 61). He also advanced to the second round at both AMS Monte Carlo and AMS Hamburg but lost in the first round at AMS Rome.


·         Benneteau’s best result of 2007 came at AMS Indian Wells, where he reached the round of 16 before losing to Novak Djokovic 63 61.


·         Berlocq is making his second successive appearance at Roland Garros, having made his debut here last year.


·         This is Berlocq’s fourth Grand Slam appearance overall and he has lost in the first round on his previous three appearances.


·         Berlocq has played exclusively on clay this year. His best performance came at Vina del Mar where he reached the quarterfinals before losing 36 63 75 to Martin Vassallo Arguello.


·         He lost in the first round of both his warm-up tournaments prior to coming to Roland Garros, retiring with a back injury whilst trailing Boris Pashanski 4-0 at Barcelona and falling to Kristian Pless 63 63 at Portschach as a qualifier.


·         In addition to appearing in four tour-level events, Berlocq has also competed on the challenger circuit in 2007, winning the title at Barletta (ITA) and reaching the semifinals at Monza (ITA).





Head-to-head: first meeting


                          NALBANDIAN                                                     v                                                           LEE


                                      25                                                              Age                                                         31

                                      18                                                    ATP Ranking                                                42

                                       5                                                             Titles                                                         1

                                   65-21                                  Career Grand Slam Record                              15-22

                                    16-5                                        Roland Garros Record                                      4-4

                                226-116                                             Career Record                                         129-133

                                   88-44                                         Career Record - Clay                                     22-23

                                     9-9                                                    2007 Record                                               7-12

                                     3-4                                              2007 Record - Clay                                         3-4

                                    14-8                                       Career Five-Set Record                                    6-6

                                       6                                       Comebacks from 0-2 Down                                   2

                                   74-61                                     Career Tiebreak Record                                 53-53

                                     4-6                                          2007 Tiebreak Record                                      4-4


·         Nalbandian is appearing at Roland Garros for the sixth time in his career.


·         Nalbandian has never lost in the first round here, and in fact has only one first round loss in a major in his career, at the 2002 US Open (l. Sargis Sargsian 61 64 64).


·         Nalbandian reached the Roland Garros semifinals for the second time last year, as No. 3 seed defeating Nikolay Davydenko 63 63 26 64 in the quarterfinals before retiring with a left abdominal strain against Roger Federer, losing 36 64 52 ret. to hand the world No. 1 his first Roland Garros final. Nalbandian also reached the semis here in 2004, falling to eventual champion and compatriot Gaston Gaudio 63 76 60. He is one of only two active players – the other being Federer – to have reached the semifinals or better at all four Grand Slam events.


·         Nalbandian has played an abbreviated season so far, Roland Garros being just his ninth event (including the Davis Cup quarterfinals). Having led Argentina to the Davis Cup final at the end of 2006 (they lost to Russia), he sat out the first round of this year’s competition in February to rest. He retired with a back injury in the second round at AMS Monte Carlo (l. Philipp Kohlschreiber 75 41 ret.), then reached the quarterfinals at Barcelona in his last tournament appearance before coming here. Nalbandian withdrew from the Masters Series events in Rome and Hamburg with the back injury.


·         Nalbandian’s best result in 2007 was winning three matches to reach the last 16 at the Australian Open, before losing to Tommy Haas 46 63 62 63. He won two in a row to advance to the last 16 at AMS Indian Wells, and the quarterfinals at Barcelona.


·         Lee is making his fifth appearance at Roland Garros, but his first for two years, having not competed here last year.


·         Lee’s best Roland Garros results are two third round appearances, in 2004 (l. Feliciano Lopez 76 46 60 63) and 2005 (l. David Ferrer 63 61 75).


·         Lee has never bettered his performance on his Grand Slam debut as a qualifier at the 2000 US Open, where he reached the round of 16, defeating Rainer Schuettler 62 36 64 64 in the third round before losing to Pete Sampras 76 62 64.


·         Lee reached a career-high ranking of No. 41 on 21 May. His best result this season is reaching the quarterfinals at San Jose, losing to eventual champion Andy Murray 46 63 76. He has won three matches on clay in four tournaments on the surface ahead of this one, his best result being winning two in a row to reach the round of 16 at AMS Monte Carlo (l. Roger Federer 64 63).










Head-to-head: Youzhny leads 1-0

2007     Australian Open             Hard (O)            R128     Youzhny           76 62 60


Youzhny and Hernych meet in the first round for a second successive major.


                       YOUZHNY                                           v                                        HERNYCH


                            24                                              Age                                           27

                             3                                              Titles                                           0

                          38-24                          Career Grand Slam Record                        5-10

                            5-6                               Roland Garros Record                            1-2

                        203-162                                  Career Record                                 49-68

                          57-49                               Career Record - Clay                             7-15

                          27-11                                      2007 Record                                   5-10

                            8-4                                  2007 Record - Clay                               0-1

                            8-7                              Career Five-Set Record                           1-2

                             2                             Comebacks from 0-2 Down                          0

                          86-71                            Career Tiebreak Record                         19-19

                          10-10                              2007 Tiebreak Record                             1-3


·         Youzhny is playing at Roland Garros for the seventh consecutive year. He has advanced to at least the second round on his last four appearances.


·         Last year, Youzhny reached the second round here, defeating Sasa Tuksar 63 63 36 60 in the first round before losing to 1998 champion Carlos Moya 63 64 62.


·         Youzhny’s best result at Roland Garros came in 2004, when he reached the third round, falling to Nicolas Escude 62 75 67 62.


·         In the lead-up to Roland Garros, Youzhny reached the seventh final of his career, his second on clay, at Munich, losing to Philipp Kohlschreiber 26 63 64.


·         Munich (see above) was Youzhny’s third final of the year. He won his third career title at Rotterdam on indoor hard court in February, defeating Ivan Ljubicic 62 64 in the final and a week later also reached the final at Dubai, also on hard court, losing to Roger Federer 64 63. This is the first time in his career that Youzhny has reached more than two finals in the same year and is reflected in the fact that he equalled his career-high ranking of No. 15 on 21 May.


·         Hernych is making his third consecutive Roland Garros appearance.


·         Last year, Hernych lost in the opening round here, falling to Lleyton Hewitt 76 36 62 60.


·         Hernych’s best performance at Roland Garros was on his debut in 2005. He defeated Fabrice Santoro 76 36 61 46 64 in the first round before losing to 2003 champion Juan Carlos Ferrero 64 64 62 in the second.


·         Hernych has never gone beyond the second round at any of the ten majors that he has contested prior to this one.


·         Hernych has played just one event at tour level on clay this year, losing to Sergio Roitman 75 76 in the opening round at Valencia. He also failed to qualify at AMS Monte Carlo and AMS Hamburg.


·         Hernych has won back-to-back matches on two occasions this year, reaching the quarterfinals at Las Vegas (l. Jurgen Melzer) and the round of 16 at AMS Indian Wells (l. Nikolay Davydenko).







Head-to-head: first meeting


                                 CANAS                                                           v                                                    HANESCU


                                      29                                                              Age                                                         25

                                      22                                                    ATP Ranking                                               425

                                       7                                                             Titles                                                         0

                                   32-23                                  Career Grand Slam Record                              11-13

                                    11-6                                        Roland Garros Record                                      7-3

                                209-146                                             Career Record                                           66-77

                                  102-67                                       Career Record - Clay                                     42-37

                                    22-8                                                   2007 Record                                                1-4

                                    12-5                                            2007 Record - Clay                                         1-2

                                   11-11                                      Career Five-Set Record                                    4-4

                                       1                                       Comebacks from 0-2 Down                                   0

                                   68-60                                     Career Tiebreak Record                                 29-50

                                    11-3                                         2007 Tiebreak Record                                      0-2


·         Canas is making his seventh appearance at Roland Garros, and first since 2005. This is his first Grand Slam tournament since here two years ago, having returned from a 15-month anti-doping suspension in September 2006.


·         Roland Garros is the scene of Canas’s best Grand Slam performances. He has twice reached the quarterfinals here, going no further than the round of 16 at any other major. Canas first reached the quarters here in 2002, defeating Lleyton Hewitt 67 76 64 63 in the round of 16 before losing to eventual champion Albert Costa 75 36 67 64 60. He returned to the last eight here in 2005 in his last Grand Slam appearance, again losing in five sets, this time to eventual runner-up Mariano Puerta 62 36 16 63 64.


·         Canas tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide steroid at 2005 Acapulco and began his 15-month suspension after 2005 Halle the week of 13 June. He returned at the Belem Challenger (BRA) the week of 11 September 2006 and won the title, and has performed strongly since, working his way back up the rankings from a low of No. 514 in September 2006 to No. 20 on 14 May 2007, his highest mark since 8 August 2005. He plays here at No. 22.


·         Canas compiled a 28-3 record on the challenger circuit from September onwards through the remainder of the 2006 season, winning a total of four tournaments (Belem, Montevideo, Buenos Aires and Asuncion). After collecting another challenger title at Sao Paulo this January, he stepped up to the ATP tour, and quickly won the title at Costa do Sauipe, his first tour title for two and a half years, defeating Juan Carlos Ferrero 76 62 in the final.


·         In addition to winning the Costa do Sauipe title, Canas has other good results this year on both clay and hard court. He qualified at AMS Miami and advanced to the final, losing to Novak Djokovic 63 62 64, and was runner-up at Barcelona, to Rafael Nadal 63 64.


·         His performance at Barcelona was Canas’s standout result on European clay – he did not advance beyond the second round at his three other events in the run-up to here. He withdrew from AMS Monte Carlo with leg pains, and retired in the first round at Munich with a stomach injury.


·         Hanescu is making his fourth appearance at Roland Garros and first for two years, having missed last year due to a recurring back injury.


·         Hanescu has never lost in the first round here. He had his best Grand Slam result here in 2005, reaching the quarterfinals. He defeated David Nalbandian 63 46 57 61 62 in the round of 16 before losing to Roger Federer 62 76 63.


·         Hanescu is bidding to win his first Grand Slam match since 2005 Wimbledon, when he defeated Kenneth Carlsen 67 76 63 57 64 in the first round. His second round loss to Sebastien Grosjean, 63 64 62, began a four-match losing streak at majors, through first round defeats at the 2005 US Open (where he retired from his match with heat exhaustion), the 2006 Australian Open and the 2007 Australian Open.


·         Hanescu did not play in 2006 after AMS Rome for six months due to a back injury, and plays here with a protected ranking of No. 99. He returned in November to try and qualify for two challenger events (he failed at both), but made his main draw comeback in January this year.

·         2007 Roland Garros is just his fifth tour-level event of the year (including the Davis Cup first round in February), and so far he has won just one match, defeating Martin Verkerk 64 64 in the first round at Houston (then losing to Jurgen Melzer 64 62 in the second round). Hanescu would play Verkerk in the second round here, if both advance.


·         Hanescu has played four more main draw events at challenger level in 2007. His highlight is a semifinal finish on clay at Rome in early May (l. Thierry Ascione 63 62).






Head-to-head: Acasuso leads 1-0

2005     AMS Miami       Hard (O)            R128                 Acasuso           64 63


                                MELZER                                                          v                                                    ACASUSO


                                      26                                                              Age                                                         24

                                      30                                                    ATP Ranking                                                46

                                       1                                                             Titles                                                         3

                                   15-20                                  Career Grand Slam Record                               8-22

                                     3-4                                          Roland Garros Record                                      5-5

                                127-131                                             Career Record                                         134-123

                                   57-48                                         Career Record - Clay                                    107-69

                                   15-14                                                  2007 Record                                              14-10

                                     6-6                                              2007 Record - Clay                                        11-7

                                     3-5                                        Career Five-Set Record                                    4-3

                                       0                                       Comebacks from 0-2 Down                                   2

                                   49-56                                     Career Tiebreak Record                                 48-47

                                     4-6                                          2007 Tiebreak Record                                      5-4


·         Melzer is playing Roland Garros for the fifth successive year. He lost in the first round last year to Nicolas Kiefer 76 63 61.


·         Melzer has lost in the Roland Garros first round twice. As well as last year, he fell in the opening round here on his debut in 2003, to David Ferrer 62 62 76. Melzer has had ten first round losses in his 20 previous Grand Slam events.


·         Melzer’s best finish at Roland Garros, and indeed at any Grand Slam event, is the third round. He reached the third round here in 2005, losing to Guillermo Coria 61 61 76. Melzer also reached the third round at the 2004 and 2005 Australian Open, the 2004 US Open and 2005 Wimbledon.


·         Melzer has received just his second Grand Slam seeding at 2007 Roland Garros, and it is his highest to date, having been seeded No. 32 at the 2005 Australian Open (l. third round to Andy Roddick 62 62 75).


·         Melzer reached a career-high ranking of No. 28 on 5 March this year, and plays here at No. 30. He was runner-up at Las Vegas (l. Lleyton Hewitt 64 76 in the final) and a semifinalist at Sydney.


·         Melzer’s best results this year on clay are quarterfinal finishes at Houston and Munich. He also won two matches to reach the round of 16 at AMS Hamburg.


·         This is Acasuso’s sixth time playing Roland Garros. He reached the second round last year, losing to Lukas Dlouhy 46 76 63 61.


·         Acasuso had the best result of his Grand Slam career when he reached the round of 16 here in 2005, defeating Max Mirnyi, Andy Roddick and Filippo Volandri (by retirement) through the first three rounds before losing to eventual runner-up Mariano Puerta 64 61 61. That marks the only time in 22 majors (ahead of this one) that Acasuso has won back-to-back matches at a Grand Slam event.


·         Acasuso is currently on a three-match winning streak, having won all three of his matches in helping Argentina to win its third World Team Cup title in Dusseldorf last week. He had wins over Jonas Bjorkman 67 76 63, Mardy Fish 75 64 and Nicolas Massu 63 64 in the round robin. Although he didn’t play singles in the final against Czech Republic, he won the decisive doubles with Agustin Calleri, defeating Tomas Berdych and Martin Damm 26 64 [10-4].


·         Most of Acasuso’s best results in 2007 have been on clay. He was a quarterfinalist at Acapulco and Casablanca on the surface, and reached the last 16 at AMS Rome and Hamburg. He has played just three hard court tournaments this season, his highlight being reaching the third round at AMS Indian Wells.






Head-to-head: first meeting


                       VERKERK                                                         v                                                      BOLELLI


                                      28                                                              Age                                                         21

                                     717                                                   ATP Ranking                                                75

                                       2                                                             Titles                                                         0

                                    10-8                                   Career Grand Slam Record                                0-0

                                     8-2                                          Roland Garros Record                                      0-0

                                   58-67                                               Career Record                                             4-11

                                   31-29                                         Career Record - Clay                                       1-5

                                     0-8                                                    2007 Record                                                4-7

                                     0-6                                              2007 Record - Clay                                         1-3

                                     5-2                                        Career Five-Set Record                                    0-0

                                       0                                       Comebacks from 0-2 Down                                   0

                                   35-30                                     Career Tiebreak Record                                    3-7

                                     0-3                                          2007 Tiebreak Record                                      2-4


·         Verkerk is making his third Roland Garros appearance but his first for three years.


·         Verkerk suffered a right shoulder injury in July 2004, which required surgery and led to him playing just one match (which he retired from) until returning in September 2006 at the Tarragona Challenger.


·         As a result of his long-term absence, Verkerk is playing here on a protected ranking of 44.


·         On his last appearance here in 2004, Verkerk advanced to the third round, losing to Lleyton Hewitt 62 36 46 62 61.


·         Verkerk posted his best career performance at 2003 Roland Garros, where on his debut here, he became the first Dutchman in history to reach the final, losing to Juan Carlos Ferrero 61 63 62.


·         Verkerk has lost all eight of his matches in 2007. In fact, he has only scored three victories at any level since returning to the circuit in September 2006: two in reaching the third round of qualifying at the Mons Challenger in October 2006, and one in reaching the second round of qualifying at 2006 Basle.


·         Bolelli is making his Grand Slam debut today.


·         Bolelli was ranked high enough for direct acceptance into the main draw of a major for the first time, after winning three Challenger titles and reaching another three challenger finals in the last twelve months.


·         Bolelli failed to qualify for the last six majors, coming closest at 2006 Wimbledon where he fell in the final qualifying round to countryman Stefano Galvani 61 64 75.


·         Bolelli has won just one match in three clay court tournaments leading up to this year’s Roland Garros, defeating Marat Safin 64 76 in the first round at Barcelona before losing to Potito Starace 64 63 in the second round.


·         Bolelli’s best result in 2007 came at AMS Miami, where he won back-to-back matches at tour level for the first time in his career, defeating Gael Monfils 64 62 and Dmitry Tursunov 67 63 64 in the first two rounds before falling to David Ferrer 76 62 in the final.


·         Bolelli plays here on a ranking of No. 75, one place lower than his career-high of No. 74, achieved on 21 May 2007.


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