Henin, Nadal cruise, Safina crashes to Japanese veteran

PARIS: , but twice-beaten finalist Dinara Safina crashed out to a player who’ll be 40 in September.

Henin was appearing at her first Roland Garros since 2007 following her spell in retirement and beat Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova 6-4, 6-3, while Nadal eased past French teenager Gianni Mina 6-2, 6-2, 6-2.

But Russian ninth seed Safina had a day to forget, as the former world number one fell 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 to 39-year-old Japanese veteran Kimiko Date Krumm — the event’s oldest female match-winner since Virginia Wade in 1985.

Men’s sixth seed Andy Roddick came through a five-setter to beat Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen 6-2, 4-6, 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 and there were also wins for Spanish seeds David Ferrer and Juan Carlos Ferrero.

Henin, the number 22 seed, is bidding for her fifth Roland Garros title after stepping away from tennis on the eve of the 2008 tournament.

The 27-year-old Belgian cut short her retirement at the beginning of the year and will face Czech Klara Zakopalova in the second round.tennis news .

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