- Associated Press - Sunday, May 22, 2011

PARIS — Marin Cilic became the first seeded player to be eliminated from the French Open, losing to Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo of Spain 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, 6-4 Sunday in the first round.

The 19th-seeded Cilic, who reached the fourth round at the Australian Open, is a former top-10 player. But he had 67 unforced errors in the match and was broken five times.

For Ramirez Hidalgo, it was only his fourth win in 15 Grand Slam tournaments. Besides reaching the fourth round at the 2006 French Open, the Spaniard lost in the first round in each of his other 13 appearances at the four biggest tournaments on the tennis circuit.

Less than an hour before play began, two-time Grand Slam champion Lleyton Hewitt withdrew.

The Australian, who had been one of only five men in the draw with a Grand Slam singles title, has not played since March because of foot surgery. He was replaced by Marc Gicquel, one of nine French men playing Sunday.

Gicquel lost to Albert Montanes of Spain 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.

The four remaining Grand Slam champions in the men’s draw are five-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro.

Djokovic, Federer and Del Potro are expected to play Monday, while Nadal is scheduled to play Tuesday.

On the women’s side, Sam Stosur opened her bid to return to the French Open final by beating Iveta Benesova 6-2, 6-3 in the first round.

Playing in the first match on Court Philippe Chatrier, the eighth-seeded Australian dropped her serve in the opening game but then reeled off four straight games to take the lead for good.

Stosur reached the final at Roland Garros last year but lost to Francesca Schiavone. In 2009, Stosur reached the French Open semifinals.

Stosur next plays Simona Halep of Romania, who became the first player to reach the second round by beating Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia 6-2, 6-1 on Court 17.

The first seeded women’s player to lose was Shahar Peer. The 19th-seeded Israeli lost to Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain 7-6 (4), 6-1.

In the final match of the day, No. 18 Plavia Pennetta of Italy lost to American Varvara Lepchenko 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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