South Africa's top-ranked tennis players negotiated their way safely through the first round of the French Open at Roland Garros on Monday.

Kevin Anderson, seeded 31st in the men's singles draw, had a tough opener as he was taken to five sets in a tight contest against Rui Machado of Portugal.

The match had started on Sunday, but was halted with the players level at 7-7 in the fifth set, due to bad light, and was continued on day two.

Anderson held on to secure a 7-6, 6-7, 4-6, 6-1, 11-9 victory.

The SA men's number one will face qualifier Horacio Zeballos of Argentina in the second round.

Chanelle Scheepers had an easier task of it in her women's singles opener, though she was also stretched, to three sets, against Spaniard Laura Pous Tio.

Pous Tio fought back to win the second set, but Scheepers held her nerve, dominating the third to bag a 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 victory.

Scheepers will square up against former world number three Nadia Petrova of Russia in the second round. – Sapa