PARIS - There was warm sun, just enough of a cooling breeze and hordes of fans packed into every outside court or causing 15-minute backups at the hot-ham-and-cheese sandwich concessions.
There was Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters soaring to victory.
And nothing, including the sullen look on Anastasia Myskina's face as she was drummed into a dubious place in French Open history, was going to make this first day of the French Open any less special.
Her 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 loss to Maria Sanchez Lorenzo of Spain made her the first champion, male or female, in the history of the tournament to be put out in the first round the next year.
It was the only surprise of a 64-match program, though it was more of a historic than athletic upset. Myskina was only 8-9 when she arrived in Paris and hasn't played well all year.
"Right now, it's really difficult to understand what I have to do on court," she said, grim-faced, after she went down meekly in the final set, spraying ground strokes everywhere but inside the lines. "When the ball comes to me, I don't know what I have to do, where I have to put it. I have no confidence at all right now."
Every other top seed won - No. 1 Federer, No. 4 Nadal, No. 5 Gaston Gaudio, who is the men's defending champion, No. 7 Tim Henman, No. 10 David Nalbandian, No. 14 Carlos Moya and No. 16 Radek Stepanek on the men's side; and No. 1 Lindsay Davenport, No. 4 Elena Dementieva, No. 8 Patty Schnyder, No. 9 Vera Zvonareva, No. 11 Williams, No. 14 Clijsters and No. 16 Elena Likhovtseva among the women.
Davenport was pressed early in a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 win over Katarina Srebotnik, but that had more to do with her lack of match play than her dislike of clay.
If there was a focus on the women's tournament, it was on Clijsters, trying to gut out a strained right knee as she continues her quest for a first Grand Slam win.
Not every question about her fitness was settled, but she got through the first round in 48 minutes with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Meilen Tu, the former U.S. Open junior champion, and never felt a twinge.
"It felt pretty good today," she said. "I had to test it out there, but this is good to have a match like this in the first round. I haven't had the perfect preparation, but something like this definitely helps to have the match rhythm and to work on a few things during the match."
If anyone got an added boost yesterday, it was Williams, who went down 0-2 in the opening set, then won 12 of the next 15 games.
With Myskina out of the way, Williams appears to have a very safe run to the quarterfinals, where she'll likely meet Karolina Sprem, the Croatian who defeated her in a controversial match at Wimbledon in 2004.
Two favorites, Federer and Nadal, won in straight sets, though Nadal had some anxious moments in a 6-1, 7-6 (4), 6-1 win over the powerful German Lars Burgsmuller, whose work at the net flustered Nadal for a time.
"It's not the best match I've played in recent times. Of course, when you play at a Grand Slam, you've under more stress," said the 18-year-old Spanish wunderkind. "I need a little bit more confidence in the shots. I think the ball is a little bit strange."
The victory sends Nadal into the second round tomorrow against Xavier Malisse, the mercurial and supremely gifted Belgian who quickly disposed of Mardy Fish.
Federer, meanwhile, zipped through Dudi Sela of Israel, 6-1, 6-4, 6-0, in the first phase of what looks like a dream draw into the quarterfinals, where Nalbandian probably awaits. There is also the dynamite possibility of a Federer-Nadal reprise of their Key Biscayne final in the semifinals.
"You can never be unhappy winning in straight sets," he said. He next gets Nicolas Almagro. (Results, Page 7e)
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.