Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Federer Stumbles Into 2nd Round

APSafina playing Zvonareva on Sunday.
PARIS -- The French Open started on a Sunday for the first time, and Roger Federer wasn't quite ready.

With an uncharacteristic flurry of early errors, Federer lost his first two service games to fall behind 3-0, then gradually found his form and beat qualifier Diego Hartfield 7-5, 7-6 (2), 6-2.

The top-ranked Federer, beginning his bid for the only Grand Slam title he has yet to win, needed more than 2 1/2 hours to eliminate an Argentine making his tour-level debut.

"I prefer easy matches," Federer said. "It's always easier when you aren't under pressure, which was my case today, as everybody expected me to win."

In women's play, No. 14 Dinara Safina, No. 22 Ai Sugiyama and No. 25 Marion Bartoli advanced.

Federer said he asked not to play the first day, but officials turned him down.

"I didn't want to be the guy who starts the tournament," he said. "You play Sunday, first up, you feel like the tournament hasn't even started yet, and right away you're challenged. It's not easy."

Kenneth Carlsen's losing streak at Roland Garros reached nine consecutive matches, dating back to 1995. He was beaten Sunday by Tim Henman 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. No. 7-seeded Tommy Robredo swept Tomas Zib 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.

Safina committed 35 unforced errors but still beat Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 7-5 in a sloppy, seesaw match. Safina took a 6-5 lead in the second set with the 10th service break of the match, then closed out the victory with a crosscourt backhand winner.

Safina, the younger sister of two-time Grand Slam champion Marat Safin, improved her career record at Roland Garros to 2-3. She lost in the opening round in 2003 and 2005.

But Safina has climbed this year to 16th in the rankings, and she beat three top-10 players en route to her first Tier I final last week at Rome before losing to Martina Hingis.

"I'm starting to be a little more calm this year, and a little more knowing what I'm doing on the court," Safina said. "I'm trying to play really focused from the first point to when I shake hands."

Zvonareva reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros in 2003, but she fell out of the top 20 last year and is only 10-12 in 2006.

Sugiyama rallied to beat Eleni Daniilidou 6-7 (1), 6-0, 6-3. Bartoli beat Aurelie Vedy 6-1, 6-0.