Jimmy Connors got off to a flying start today in his bid for the French Open tennis title, which no United States player has won for 28 years.
Connors, the No. 1 seed, routed Craig Miller of Australia, 6-2, 6-2, 6-1.
Second-seeded John McEnroe is not scheduled to play until Wednesday.
Defending champion 18-year-old Mats Wilander, who is seeded fifth, again showed his mastery of the slow clay surface at Roland Garros stadium against Juan Avendano of Spain. Wilander was leading, 4-6, 6-2, 6-0, 2-1, when Avendano withdrew with a shoulder injury.
The last U.S. player to win the men's crown here was Tony Trabert in 1955. Since then, the slow bounces and long rallies always have mostly favored the Europeans and Australians.
Connors, mixing his game in devastating fashion, outclassed his 20-year-old opponent with his vast arsenal of shots. Miller was allowed the luxury of holding his opening serve before the world's No. 1 player opened fire, reeling off the next five games.
When Miller tried to match power with power, Connors shrewdly soft-balled him, drawing the Australian to the net and beating him with precise lobs.
Connors, who went on to win Wimbledon and U.S. titles after his Paris disappointment last year, is determined, at age 30, to add the French Open to his list of victories.
"I have never won Roland Garros before and I really want to," he said. "It is good to get the first match under your belt to get into the hunt. What I did today was pretty good."
Chip Hooper, a tall Californian with a big serve, was beaten easily by Henri Leconte, 19-year-old French star, 6-3, 6-0, 6-0, to the delight of 10,000 partisan French fans who took advantage of a public holiday and packed the seats around the center court for opening day.
One seed was beaten in the first round of the men's singles. Bernard Fritz, another local favorite, eliminated 13th-seeded Wojtek Fibak, 7-5, 7-6, 4-6, 6-3.
The day began with two upsets in the women's singles. Pam Casale shut out 11th-seeded Zina Garrison, 6-0, 6-0, and Kathy Jordan eliminated Anne Smith, seeded 14th, 6-2, 6-3.
Garrison's loss may have made the record books. Officials at Roland Garros could not remember any seeded player being knocked out of the tournament without winning a single game.
"It certainly does not happen often," said Garrison, a 19-year-old Texan. "I missed a lot of easy shots, and Pam didn't miss anything."
Steffi Graf of West Germany, 13 years 11 months old, became the youngest player ever to compete in a Grand Slam tournament. She defeated Catherine Karlsson of Sweden, 6-4, 6-1.
Graf, who began playing tennis at age 4, last year was the youngest player ever to receive a Women's Tennis Association computer ranking (No. 214).