Paris: Andy Murray saw off a 29-year-old local who had only won one match on the main tour and China`s Li Na toiled through under cloudier skies in the French Open first round on Tuesday.
British fourth seed Murray progressed 6-4 6-1 6-3 but was broken twice by Eric Prodon, who had only made three previous appearances in a grand slam, all at Roland Garros.
Women`s sixth seed Li, who like Murray was runner-up in January`s Australian Open, began with an uninspiring 6-3 6-7 6-3 win over Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova with the early crowds also somewhat lacklustre after a busy and sunny Monday.
In contrast, Maria Sharapova, wearing striking yellow, stormed past Mirjana Lucic 6-3 6-0 to continue her good form.
Murray did not need to produce his best against the slightly rotund Prodon, who broke in the first set with a drop shot after a series of half-hearted attempts.
The Scot found more rhythm in the second but was broken again in the third set as Prodon`s remarkably laidback but occasionally successful volleys and smashes amused the fans.
There was more laughs when it organisers announced that American Ryan Harrison, who threw his racket into a tree when losing in qualifying last week, had won a lucky loser berth and he will play last year`s runner-up Robin Soderling later.
The feelings on Court Philippe Chatrier were completely different as France`s Virginie Razzano, whose coach and fiance died eight days ago after a brain tumour, lost her match to Jarmila Gajdosova 6-3 6-1 to warm and heartfelt applause.
"I had a lot of emotion and pain," she said tearfully.
Number two seed Kim Clijsters returns from injury later against Anastasiya Yakimova.