Nadal, Roddick advance

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 11:55 AM ET

TOKYO -- World No. 1 superstar Rafael Nadal and former top-ranked performer Andy Roddick were a pair of first-round winners, while defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga went by way of an upset Tuesday at the $1.1 million Japan Open Tennis Championships.

The reigning U.S. Open, Wimbledon and French Open champion Nadal handled Colombian Santiago Giraldo 6-4, 6-4 on the hardcourts at Ariake Colosseum.

Nadal, who was shocked by fellow Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in a semifinal in Bangkok last week, will meet Canadian qualifier Milos Raonic here on Thursday.

"I lost against him in doubles in Toronto," Nadal said of Raonic. "He can play very well from the baseline and has a good serve so I have to be aggressive against him."

The second-seeded Roddick, meanwhile, handled Japanese wild card Tatsuma Ito 6-4, 6-3, while a third-seeded Tsonga was knocked out by surging Finnish veteran Jarkko Nieminen 6-4, 5-7, 6-1. Nieminen was last week's runner-up to Garcia-Lopez in Bangkok.

The oft-injured Tsonga, seeing his first action since reaching the quarterfinals at Wimbledon and injuring his left knee back in July, bested Russian Mikhail Youzhny in last year's Japan Open finale.

"I did all I could but it was not enough today," Tsonga said. "It was tough, my first match in three months, and Jarkko played well. But I have no pain in my knee, so that is positive."

Roddick, playing his first match since losing in the second round at the U.S. Open last month, like Tsonga, was also returning from a layoff.

"It felt like a match coming off a long layoff," Roddick said. "There were some good things, some inconsistent things. Since New York, I've been trying to get in physical shape and I've been able to do that."

Roddick will encounter capable Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in the round of 16 here.

Meanwhile, fourth-seeded Jurgen Melzer of Austria held off Argentine Juan Monaco 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, fifth-seeded Frenchman Gael Monfils topped Japanese wild card Go Soeda 7-6 (12-10), 6-4, and Swiss Marco Chiudinelli doused eighth- seeded Frenchman Michael Llodra 6-3, 6-0 on Day 2.

Former top-10 Frenchman Richard Gasquet got past Dutchman Thiemo de Bakker 6-3, 7-6 (8-6), while the red-hot aforementioned Garcia-Lopez came from behind to beat American Rajeev Ram 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 7-6 (7-1). Garcia-Lopez has won his last six matches, including his title in Bangkok last week.

Additional opening-round wins came for Raonic, Chardy, Italian Andreas Seppi and Serbian Viktor Troicki.

This week's champion will pocket $261,500.


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