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2010 French Open: Poor First Round Could Mean Demise for American Men

PARIS - MAY 24:  Jesse Witten of the United States plays a forehand during the men's singles first round match between Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus and Jesse Witten of the United States at the French Open on day two of the French Open at Roland Garros on May 24, 2010 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Sam BlumCorrespondent IMay 25, 2010

Just three days ago, there were 11 American men in the draw.

After round one—just five remain. 

Coming into the open, there were three Americans who were ranked and expected to at the very least get through the first two matches before seeds started meeting up in the third. 

Out of those three players, John Isner, Sam Querry, and Andy Roddick, just two remain, as Sam Querry lost to Robby Ginepri, who is ironically, an American.

It took Roddick five sets to down Jarkko Nieminen, who is a very famous doubles competitor.

John Isner won his match in straight sets. 

Jesse Witten lost in straight sets to Marcos Baghdatis. Witten became famous after going to the third round at the U.S. Open, and nearly defeating Novak Djokovic.

Michael Yani tied a French Open record for games played in his opening round loss.

He wont the first set 6-4, lost the second and third 6-7, 6-7, won the fourth, 7-6, and lost the fifth 10-12. He was only broken once the entire match, but that was enough against Luckas Lacko. 

Ryan Sweeting, Michael Russell, and Rajeev Ram all lost in straight sets. Hard hitting Taylor Dent, who has finally recovered from a crippling back injury, won the same way. 

Mardy Fish beat Michael Berrer in five sets. 

Although many of the men lost, many of them were not the top players. 

However, you have to believe that if Roddick needs five sets to advance, we might not be seeing an American reaching the final weekend.

The best chance that the USA has is probably Isner, who is playing very well right now, and is seeded 17th. 

Roddick will play Blaz Kavcic, Robby Ginepri will play Politio Starace, Mardy Fish will play Ivan Ljubicic, and Isner will play Marco Chiudinelli. In probably the best match of the second round, Dent will take on Robin Soderling.

Most of these are winnable matches, but all of them are losable too.

If the U.S. can manage to have three players remaining while going into the round of 32, then that will be a success.

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