PARIS: French Open dangerman Juan Martin Del Potro shrugged off a knee injury scare as well as sweltering 30-degree heat to reach the French Open second round on Sunday.
The ninth seeded Argentine, who made the semi-finals in 2009 before going on to claim the US Open title, saw off Spanish veteran Albert Montanes 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 6-1 in a shade over three hours.
He will tackle France's Edouard Roger-Vasselin for a place in the last 32.
Del Potro, a potential quarter-final opponent of Roger Federer, had beaten
Montanes in straight sets on his way to the Estoril title in April.
But he endured a bumpy ride on Philippe Chatrier Court on Sunday when his troublesome left knee, which had already been taped, required further strapping at the end of the marathon second set.
The 23-year-old, the only man outside of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Federer to win a Grand Slam title in the last seven years, also needed a doctor three games into the second set as the soaring temperatures threatened to take their toll.
Also making the last 64 on the opening day of the 2012 tournament was 2003 winner Juan Carlos Ferrero, who defeated French wildcard Jonathan Dasnieres de Veigy 6-1, 6-4, 6-3.
Ferrero, playing in his 12th Roland Garros, next meets Croatian 21st seed Maran Cilic.(AFP)