Federer gets French Open win

PARIS (AP) – Top-ranked Roger Federer ended his two-year French Open losing streak by beating Kristof Vliegen 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 in the first round Tuesday.

Federer lost in the opening round at Roland Garros to Hicham Arazi in 2002 and to Luis Horna in 2003.

But he dominated from the start against Vliegen, who lost in qualifying and made the draw only when another player withdrew.

In sunny, 70-degree weather, Federer needed just 76 minutes on Court Suzanne Lenglen to advance.

He hit 33 winners, never faced a break point and won 87 percent of the points on his first serve.

In women's play, 2000 champion Mary Pierce of France beat Claudine Schaul 6-2, 6-3.

Schaul upset Lindsay Davenport in the final at Strasbourg on Saturday.

Federer displayed the versatile arsenal of shots that makes him dangerous on all surfaces, including clay.

In the final game alone he hit a lob volley to win one point, smacked a lunging forehand to save another, then pulled a forehand winner into the corner to close out the victory.

He celebrated with a fist pump, then shared a laugh with Vliegen at the net.

Federer, the reigning Wimbledon and Australian Open champion, improved his record this year to 33-3, including 10-1 on clay.

But his career record at Roland Garros is a modest 8-5.

The rout came as the tournament was still abuzz about Andre Agassi's departure Monday.

At 23, Jerome Haehnel has contemplated retirement, but that was before he beat Agassi in one of the biggest upsets in Grand Slam history.

A qualifier playing his first tour-level match beat the winner of eight major titles, 6-4, 7-6 (4), 6-3.

With no coach, a distaste for flying and a ranking of 271st, Haehnel came to Roland Garros on the verge of calling it a career.

"I've thought about it," the Frenchman said.

With a smile he added, "Now maybe I will go on."

The question is how long the 34-year-old Agassi will go on, and whether he'll return for a 17th appearance at the French Open next year.

"Hard to say," the 1999 champion said.

"I don't know.

It's a year away, and that's a long time for me right now.

The chances get less every year, that's for sure."

The oldest man in the tournament, Agassi looked it.

He was lethargic and tentative, especially on the biggest points.

"I probably got what I deserved," he said.

Agassi's defeat was by far the biggest upset on the opening day, but there was other drama.

Fellow American Vince Spadea overcame a 5-1 deficit in the fifth set and nine match points to beat Florent Serra.

Ninth-seeded Tim Henman rallied from two sets down to defeat Cyril Saulnier.

And Vladimir Voltchkov edged Radek Stepanek 11-9 in the fifth set.

On the women's side, top-ranked Justine Henin-Hardenne returned from a six-week layoff and began her bid for a second successive French Open title by beating Sandrine Testud 6-4, 6-4.

The imposing Russian contingent started 6-0, including victories by eighth-seeded Nadia Petrova and No.

10 Vera Zvonareva.

Also advancing were No.

3 Amelie Mauresmo, France's best hope, and No.

5 Davenport.

There were two seeded losers: No.

24 Jelena Dokic and No.

27 Elena Daniilidou.

Second-seeded Andy Roddick overcame an upset stomach to eliminate fellow American Todd Martin 7-6 (5), 6-4, 7-5.

Roddick had lost in the opening round the past two years.

Other winners on the men's side included No.

3 Guillermo Coria and No.

5 Carlos Moya, the 1998 champion.

Three seeded men were eliminated: No.

6 Agassi, No.

16 Fernando Gonzalez and No.

18 Mark Philippoussis.

Agassi was bidding for his 800th match victory, but instead Haehnel (pronounced eh-NEL) improved to 1-0 lifetime.