Andre Agassi wasn't the only American who struggled against a French qualifier in first-round play at the French Open on Monday.
Unlike Agassi, Vince Spadea of Boca Raton, Fla., will advance to the second round but only after a five-set marathon in which he fought off nine match points.
"I'm a passionate guy about what I'm trying to accomplish, you know, when I put my mind to it," said Spadea, 30, who outlasted Florent Serra of Paris, 7-5, 1-6, 4-6, 7-6 (9-7), 9-7, in a match that lasted 4 hours 32 minutes.
Spadea fell behind two sets to one and trailed 5-1 in the fourth before rallying.
Having been bounced in the first round of three of four Grand Slam events last year (Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and Australian Open), he vowed at that juncture to get more aggressive. And Serra, who had outplayed him for three-quarters of the match, grew tentative.
Spadea's rocky road to the second round began Sunday afternoon, when tournament officials exiled him to the lowliest court on the Roland Garros grounds -- court No. 16, which is typically used for practice -- despite the fact that he is seeded 27th.
With the match slipping away, Spadea reflected on his surroundings.
"I'll be the first one out of the tournament and people will think I just finished practicing," he said afterward. "It's going to be a hard explanation to even my dad or any kind of innocent bystander."
Roddick Tops Angry Martin
No. 2 seed Andy Roddick advanced to the second round for the first time in three years after defeating fellow American Todd Martin, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, 7-5.
Martin came back to force the first-set tiebreaker after falling behind 4-1, but was no match for Roddick and his mighty serve.
Their meeting was marred by a hostile exchange at the end, when Martin chided Roddick for his behavior on a disputed call. Both players said they smoothed things out in the locker room afterward. . . .
Defending champion Juan Carlos Ferrero has given no indication that he plans to withdraw because of his rib injury and is expected to face Germany's Tommy Haas Tuesday afternoon. . . .
Martina Navratilova has been assigned to Court 1 on Tuesday, the third most significant stage at Roland Garros, for her first-round singles match against Argentina's Gisela Dulko.