PARIS - Marin Cilic became the first men's seeded player to be eliminated from the French Open, losing to Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo of Spain 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-4, yesterday 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.
"It's my greatest victory this season, that's for sure," the 33-year-old Ramirez Hidalgo said. "I would not say this is the beginning of a new career, because I'm too old for this, but it's a kind of relief."
Seventh-seeded David Ferrer had no such problems, advancing to the second round by defeating Jarkko Nieminen of Finland 6-3, 6-3, 6-1.
No. 14 Stanislas Wawrinka, No. 17 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, No. 30 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain and No. 31 Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine also advanced.
Less than an hour before play began, two-time Grand Slam champion Lleyton Hewitt withdrew, citing a left ankle injury.
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.
"Obviously I thought of last year's last match," Stosur said. "It was nice to get out there again and, of course, if you can play on any court here you'd want to play on that one."
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.