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Razzano loses French opener a week after death of fiance

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PARIS -- An emotional Virginie Razzano took the court Tuesday at the French Open despite the death of her fiance eight days ago.

The Frenchwoman, playing with a black ribbon on her shirt, lost to 24th-seeded Jarmila Gajdosova of Australia 6-3, 6-1 on Court Philippe Chatrier.

"I felt a lot of emotion, a lot of pain on court today," Razzano said. "The pain is permanent within me. It's very hard. But it felt good to be surrounded by so many people and to be here.

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"I tried to pay tribute to Stephane today. It was almost a 'mission impossible,' but I did my best."

Razzano's fiance and former coach Stephane Vidal died on May 16 after being diagnosed with a brain tumor nine years ago. He was 32.

The 28-year-old Razzano said last week that she asked Vidal before he died if she should play at Roland Garros and he said, "Yes, you need to play."

Razzano will also play in the doubles tournament with partner Alize Cornet.

Also Tuesday, five-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal is set to face John Isner, while No. 4 Andy Murray continues his chase for a first Grand Slam title with a match against Eric Prodon. Kim Clijsters and Maria Sharapova are also scheduled to be in action.

On Monday, Roger Federer was all about the serve in his opening match, and his strategy served him well.

The 16-time Grand Slam champion advanced to the second round without facing a single break point in beating Feliciano Lopez of Spain 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (3).

"Important thing from my side was to be solid in my own serve, which I was all the way through from start to finish," the Swiss said. "And I thought I played a good match."

Besides Federer, Novak Djokovic also advanced to the second round. The second-seeded Serb extended his perfect season to 38-0 while improving his winning streak to 40 matches.

For the women, top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki and defending champion Francesca Schiavone made it through.

Federer completed his career Grand Slam at Roland Garros two years ago but entered the tournament this time without the pressure to win that has dogged him in the past.

That doesn't mean he doesn't expect the best of himself.

"Mentally, I know what I have to do," Federer said. "This is a great match, but also a great tournament, as well. So you have to look at all the facets that come with this, and that's when you have to keep your focus.

"That's when you have to be in the match and start well. Even though you might not start well, do not panic. And this is what I managed to do, because I think Feliciano got off to a very good start during the first set, and that was the key for the match."

If Federer is free of the heavy weight of expectation this year, the opposite can be said of Djokovic.

"Pressure is always there," said Djokovic, who beat Thiemo De Bakker 6-2, 6-1, 6-3 a day after turning 24. "I know there is a lot of expectations because of the streak I have, but, look, I'm really happy the way I'm handling things right now on and off the court."

Djokovic needs five more wins to break John McEnroe's Open era record of 42 for the best unbeaten start to a season, and a sixth victory will make him the first man to win the Australian and French Opens back-to-back since Jim Courier in 1992.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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