In men's round one three time French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil lost to France's Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4, 6-3, 6-2
in a match which ended Kuerten's professional tennis career. Kuerten, 31 years old, had announced before the tournament that
Paris would be his last professional event. After the match Kuerten was presented with a slice of the red clay tennis court
surface which was immobilized in a glass trophy.
Kuerten turned professional in 1995 and first took the Paris title only two years later in 1997. He would also win in Paris
in 2000 and 2001. Today Kuerten scored several points with his graceful one-handed backhand and saved a matchpoint with a
striking forehand winner.
“This particular tournament is really like home for me,” Kuerten said.
Not long after Kuerten made his exit, Serena Williams of the USA dropped the first two games of her first round match against
Ashley Harkleroad also of the USA then steamrolled 6-2, 6-1 to advance into round two.
Williams, a winner in Paris in 2002 and the only former champion in the women's field, hit winners with ease from both
groundstroke wings but still was not completely pleased with her play.
“I feel like I ultimately could have played better,” said Williams, who today tied world number one Maria Sharapova's
24-2 WTA Tour best match play record for this year.