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Tennis: Stan overboard as Nadal, Djokovic, Sharapova shine

Third-seeded Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka made a shock, listless exit from the French Open on Monday at the hands of Spanish journeyman Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

PARIS: Third-seeded Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka made a shock, listless exit from the French Open on Monday at the hands of Spanish journeyman Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

The Swiss, bidding to become the first man since Jim Courier in 1992 to win the French Open in the same year as the Australian title, lost 6-4, 5-7, 6-2, 6-0.

The 29-year-old Wawrinka produced a woeful 61 unforced errors as Garcia-Lopez, the world number 41, booked a second round match against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.

Wawrinka, a quarter-finalist at Roland Garros in 2013 and tipped as a possible title contender after winning the Monte Carlo Masters claycourt crown last month, was the second top 10 seed to lose at a rain-hit Monday.

Japanese ninth seed Kei Nishikori had earlier lost 7-6 (7/4), 6-1, 6-2 to Slovakia's Martin Klizan.

There were no such problems for Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova who all shrugged off the Paris gloom.

Eight-time champion Nadal, bidding to become the first man to win five Roland Garros titles in a row, beat US wildcard and world number 279 Robby Ginepri 6-0, 6-3, 6-0.

It was Nadal's 60th win at the French Open against just one loss.

World number one Nadal kicked off his campaign on the secondary Suzanne Lenglen court while title rivals Djokovic and Wawrinka were handed top billing on the main Philippe Chatrier arena.

It was a decision blasted as "bizarre" by one fellow professional even though Nadal himself had criticised the state of the newly-laid clay on Chatrier after a weekend practice session.

Despite the controversy, it was business as usual for Nadal who fired 27 winners past Ginepri, a semi-finalist at the 2005 US Open whose challenge was undone by 41 unforced errors.

"It doesn't matter where I play," said Nadal who next faces highly-rated Dominic Thiem of Austria.

"It's always a pleasure and an honour to play at Roland Garros, on Chatrier, Lenglen or any other court. This place has given me unforgettable emotions."

Second seed Djokovic, the 2012 runner-up who is seeking a first Roland Garros title to complete a career Grand Slam, brushed aside Portugal's Joao Sousa, the world 42, in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.

Djokovic, widely regarded as the favourite to dethrone Nadal having beaten the Spaniard in Rome two weeks ago, next faces French hope Jeremy Chardy.

"I played for most of the match quite solid. The end of the match was not so nice from my side because I dropped my serve twice," said Djokovic.

Sharapova, seeded seven and the 2012 champion, needed just over an hour to beat fellow Russian, Ksenia Pervak, the world's 156th-ranked player, 6-1, 6-2.

The 27-year-old, who lost last year's final to Serena Williams, looked comfortable under the cloudy conditions on Chatrier, breaking her opponent five times.

Sharapova will next face Bulgaria's 2010 Wimbledon semi-finalist Tsvetana Pironkova.

"First matches at Grand Slams are always tough, no matter how prepared you are, no matter how many matches you've played," said Sharapova, now 13-1 on clay in 2014 with titles in Stuttgart and Madrid.

Nishikori was left feeling as miserable as the Paris weather, clearly still suffering from his recent back injury.

Nishikori, 24, and coached by 1989 champion Michael Chang, was the first Japanese man in 75 years to make the fourth round in Paris in 2013.

But the world number 10, who first suffered the back injury in the Madrid Masters final against Nadal, looked distinctly half-fit on Court 1 where he was broken 10 times by Klizan.

He also hit 10 double faults and committed 40 unforced errors

Left-handed Klizan, 24, one of six former junior champions in the main draw, goes on to face Robin Haase of the Netherlands.

"It sucks," said Nishikori.

Monday's action also witnessed the first marathon of the French Open with Argentine qualifier Facundo Bagnis marking his Gramd Slam debut by seeing off Frenchman Julien Benneteau 6-1, 6-2, 1-6, 3-6, 18-16 in four and a half hours.

Other top men's players going through were Italian 14th seed Fabio Fognini, Tommy Robredo, the 17th seed from Spain as well as colourful 18th seeded Latvian Ernests Gulbis.

In the women's first round, Czech fifth seed Petra Kvitova, a semi-finalist in 2012 defeated Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan 7-5, 6-2 while Dominika Cibulkova, the Slovak ninth seed, beat France's Virginie Razzano 7-5, 6-0

Australian 18th seed Samantha Stosur, the runner-up in 2010, eased past Puerto Rico's Monica Puig 6-1, 6-1 despite having had five stitches in a gashed leg.

America's Taylor Townsend, meanwhile, came from 1-5 down to beat compatriot Vania King 7-5, 6-1.

Also going through was Austria's Tamira Paszek whose 6-2, 7-6 (7/5) win over Belgium's Alison van Uytvanck was her first at Roland Garros for seven years.

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