5:08 A.M EST: Alas, it has begun, time for another Grand Slam season. The French Open. Match play should start in a few moments. If you have any comments, please leave them below.
5:16 A.M EST: It is bright and early right now! But its well worth the lack of sleep! Just to preview the days first matches:
Svetlana Kuznetsova (6) vs. Sorana Cristea.
Marin Cilic (10) vs. Ricardo Mello.
Mathilde Johansson vs. Chanelle Scheepers
Olivier Patience vs. Thiemo De Bakker
Dominika Cibulkova (26) vs Ekaterina Ivanova
Christina Mchale vs Vavara Lepchenko
Nicolas Massu vs Fabio Fognini
Elena Vesina vs. Andrea Petkovic
**This is from all the courts, each court has four matches on it.
5:17 A.M. EST: Well of course Rafa is expected to create the excitement, however Sorana Cristea has created a buzz already going up 2-0 on the sixth seeded Kuznetsova. Cristea has been ranked highly but has just dropped out of the top 32 to be sitting at 34. This is definitely a top first round match.
5:20 A.M EST: Cilic is up 2-0 with a break of Mello. Cilic has really stepped it up in Grand Slams as of late as the lanky Croat is coming off of a semifinal appearance in Australia.
5:22 A.M. EST: Christina Mchale and Vavara Lepchenko are playing each other, meaning there will be at least one American in the second round other than a Williams sister. Mchale up 1-0 early.
5:24 A.M. EST: Wow. Mello just broke Cilic to get back on serve. The 29 year old Mello from Brazil is ranked 91 in the world. He has never made it out of the first round here in Paris.
5:28 A.M. EST: Fabio Fognini leading Nicolas Massu 3-0, up one break. Cristea is up 3-1 on the defending champion Cristea.
5:30 A.M. EST: Elena Vesnina up 3-2 on Petkovic, one break. Patience and De Bakker tied at 2. Fognini up 4-0, 15-0.
5:33 A.M. EST: A lot of Frenchmen and women to be highlighted on the top matches today. Some players to look for are Aravane Rezai, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, and Josselin Ouanna.
5:35 A.M. EST: Well. Kuznetsova has come back to tie it up 3-3. Cilic is three points away from taking the first set.
5:38 A.M. EST: Fabio Fognini up 5-0 first set.
5:40 A.M. EST: Cilic takes the first set. This may be a precursor to a good tournament for Cilic, who seems to just be getting better and better. And speaking of better and better, Robin Soderling (5) due up next after Kuznetsova vs. Cristea. His run started last year after beating Nadal. What does this year have in store?
5:43 A.M. EST: Again, feel free to leave any comments! The tournament has just begun, and there is plenty to talk about.
5:47 A.M. EST: Mello getting on track in the second set up 2-1 on Cilic. Cristea about to drop the final six games of the set unless she can break Kuznetsova. Fognini wins the first set 6-1. Vesnina wins the first set 6-4.
5:50 A.M. EST: Thiemo De Bakker can take the first set if he can hold. This is his first French Open.
5:52 A.M. EST: Cheepers took the first set 6-2 off of Johannson, the French woman. However, Johansson now leads 3-0 in the second set.
5:54 A.M. EST: Lepchenko and Mchale staying close, Lepchenko leads 5-4, but they're on serve.
5:56 A.M. EST: De Bakker takes the first set. Domanika Cibulkova does the same against Ivanova. Mello leads 3-2 in the second set.
6:01 A.M. EST: Crucial deuce point. If Cristea can even up the set at 1-1 she has a shot. Kuznetsova could take her eighth straight game, and go up 2-0 in the second.
6:03 A.M. EST: 4th deuce for these two. Now Kuznetsova advantage.
6:05 A.M. EST: Scheepers reels off three straight games and is just three away from the second round.
6:07 A.M. EST: Petkovic is down a set against Vesnina but leads 4-1 in the second.
6:08 A.M. EST: Only first set still going on. Lepchenko leads Mchale 6-5. Cristea seems to be giving away games here in the second set after having leads in them. Down 3-0, and a loser of nine games in a row.
6:15 A.M. EST: Lepchenko takes the first set 7-5. Cristea finally wins a game. In what is possibly even more stunning. Mello just broke Cilic and is serving for the first set after losing the first set 6-1.
6:19 A.M. EST: Forehand wide from Cilic = Tied match, and second set win for Ricardo Mello.
6:21 A.M. EST: Massu about to take the second set after dropping the first 6-1.
6:23 A.M. EST: Cibulkova wins! The first winner. Kuznetsova follows! Scheepers is just two points away.
6:23 A.M. EST: Ricardo Mello takes the first game of the third set off of Cilic's serve. Upset on red alert!
6:28 A.M. EST: Mello holds in the second game. In addition, the Tennis Channel is reporting that Andy Roddick is going through some illness that he started facing during a tournament in Madrid. Roddick represents one of America's best chances for success now that James Blake has pulled out.
6:32 A.M. EST: After winning the first set, Vesnina has dropped 9/10 and needs to comeback from a 3-0, third set deficit. De Bakker and Patience are on serve in the second, Patience leads 6-5, but De Bakker took the first set.
6:35 A.M. EST: Cilic breaks back, 2-2, third set.
6:47 A.M. EST: Sorry for the delay. Cilic and Mello on serve. Soderling takes the first game. Youzhny takes the first as well. Patience and De Backker tied at one set all. Falla leads Tipsaravic 2-0. Lepchenko up a break 4-2, and just two games away from the match. Massu is up a break in the third set in his resurgence in the match. Petkovic is about to comeback from a set down to beat Vesnina. Petkovic is up 5-1 in the third and final set.
6:59 A.M. EST: Soderling up 4-0 as Cilic takes set three.
7:00 A.M. EST: Just when it seemed like Vesnina was down and out, she is on the verge of making it a 5-4 third set.
7:09 A.M. EST: 5-4 in the final set. Deuce. Vesnina is trying to make an imporbable comeback.
7:12 A.M. EST: Petkovic hangs on for the win. 6-4 in the final set. Cilic pulling away from Mello. Youzhny takes the first set. Soderling does the same as he has won the first seven games of his match. Massu about to take the third set.
7:20 A.M. EST: De Bakker breaks and will serve for the third set as Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Rainner Schuettler get started. Schuettler leads 1-0. You may not know the name, but the 34 year old German has been to the final of Australia and the semis at Wimbledon.
7:24 A.M. EST: Tipseravic just hasn't brought it today. He is down 6-1 5-1 to Alejandro Falla of Colombia. The winner will probably have to take on Roger Federer.
7:26 A.M. EST: And Soderling loses a game! Laurent Recouderc knows that he won't go home empty handed.
7:28 A.M. EST: Cilic WINS! The first man to advance. IT IS 7:30 A.M. WE ARE 2 1/2 HOURS INTO OUR BLOG. WE WILL BE BACK IN 30 MINUTES AFTER A SHORT HIATUS. I NEED SOME BREAKFAST.
7:57 A.M. EST: Back here. Soderling cruising, Victoria Azarenka on upset alert, down 2-0 to Dulko. Youznhy a game away from taking the match. De Bakker needs two to complete the upset. Garcia-Lopez and Scheuttler tied at four in the first set. Fognini up 5-2 in the fourth, if he wins the set, we will have our first five setter of the tournament! Albert Montanes tied with Galvani 3-3.
8:03 A.M. EST: Just to recap. We have seven matches in the books. Petkovic, Lapchenko, Cibulkova, Scheepers, and Kuznetsova are all in the second round for the women. Cilic and Falla are in for the men.
8:06 A.M. EST: Interesting fact. 3:06 in to this tournament, we have yet to have a tiebreak set. Remarkable.
8:08 A.M. EST: Dulko up 4-1 on #10 Victoria Azarenka. Dulko is a veteran who often does well in grand slams. She has gone to the round of 16 twice, including once here in 2006.
8:11 A.M. EST: Fognini and Massu going five!
8:12 A.M. EST: Montanes wins the first set. Przysiezny has reeled off three straight on Youzhny in the third set in an attempt to stave off elimination.
8:16 A.M. EST: The one problem with doing a live blog of a tennis tournament is of course trying to spell the names. Here is one that will give me some trouble. Just starting is Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez vs. Akgul Amanmuradova. Sanchez takes game one as Dulko takes the first set and as Soderling advances to the second round.
8:19 A.M. EST: After dropping the first set, Galvani has taken the first three of the second set off of Albert Montanes.
8:26 A.M. EST: Dulko is just taking apart Azarenka, who is known to lose her cool on court.
8:29 A.M. EST: Karolina Sprem and Maria Kirilenko just started. Fognini up a break in the fifth, Montanes has won three straight games to even up the second set.
8:40 A.M. EST: Montanes takes six straight to win the second set. Fognini up 4-2 in the fifth. Schuettler loses the first set. Martinez Sanchez is on serve with Amanmuradova. Same case for Kirilenko and Sprem. Flavia Pennetta is up a break on Keothavong. Dulko is about to make the biggest upset of the tournament with a win over Azarenka. Heidi El Tabakh and Aravane Rezai are tied at one.
8:50 A.M. EST: Azarenka making a second set comeback, 4-2 in the second set.
9:20 A.M. EST: Montanes wins, Gulbis underway.
10:52 A.M. EST: Back after a somewhat mild break. How is everyone. Any comments leave them. Got some interesting upsets brewing Daniel Brands defeated Jo-Wilfred Tsonga in the first set, but Tsonga is up in the second set. Jullien Benneteau beat the Latvian Ernestes Gulbis. Somdev Devvarman lost the first set to Marco Chudinelli. Devvarman style of play is just one of the best. He hits nothing hard, but he frustrates opponents so much that he finds ways to win. The popular Frenchman who made a run last year, Josselin Ouanna, is on serve in the first set with Lukas Kubot. Tobias Kamke is up on Stephane Robert in the first set, 3-0.
10:53 A.M. EST: BREAKING NEWS: Ernests Gulbis has retired from his match against Jullien Benneteau.
11:09 A.M. EST: Michael Yani and Luckas Lacko are underway.