Nadal struggles, Sharapoava cruises
Rafael Nadal came from behind for the second match win in a row on Friday at the French Open, surviving another shaky start to beat Martin Klizan 4-6, ...
Rafael Nadal came from behind for the second match win in a row on Friday at the French Open, surviving another shaky start to beat Martin Klizan 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.A Entering the tournament, seven-time champion Nadal had lost only 14 sets in 53 matches at the French Open. Now he has lost the opening set in each of the first two rounds.
Forced to wait a day to play because of rain, Nadal lost serve four times and needed nearly three hours to reach the third round. When Klizan's final shot sailed out, Nadal gave the cheering crowd a relieved thumbs-up and managed a weak smile.A Nadal also lost the first set of his opening match against Daniel Brands and was down 3-love in the second-set tiebreaker before he rallied.
In other men's play, No. 12 Tommy Haas became the first 35-year-old since 2007 to reach the French Open's third round, beating 20-year-old American qualifier Jack Sock 7-6 (3), 6-2, 7-5. Haas next plays No. 19 John Isner, who overcame a two-set deficit for the first time in his career to win an all-American match against Ryan Harrison, 5-7, 6-7 (7), 6-3, 6-1, 8-6.
No. 4 David Ferrer reached the fourth round by beating fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-1, 7-5, 6-4. No. 7 Richard Gasquet of France swept qualifier Michal Przysiezny 6-3, 6-3, 6-0.A The 19th-seeded Isner - best known for winning the longest match in tennis history, 70-68 in the fifth set at Wimbledon in 2010 - lost in five sets at each of last year's four Grand Slam tournaments. That includes an 18-16 defeat in the second round at Roland Garros against 261st-ranked Paul-Henri Mathieu across more than 5A� hours.
In the women's singles, defending champion Maria Sharapova showed no mercy to Eugenie Bouchard swatting aside the Canadian teenager 6-2, 6-4 to reach the last 32.A In a second round match held over from Thursday evening due to rain, with the Russian second seed up a set and 4-2, it took just four more games for her to complete the task, sealing the win when her opponent hit long under pressure.
Sharapova, a teenage tennis sensation herself when she won the 2004 Wimbledon title at the age of 17, will go on to play China's Zheng Jie who eased past Melanie Oudin of the United States 6-3, 6-1.A She is now on a nine-match winning streak at Roland Garros having completed her collection of Grand Slam titles in Paris last year, the seventh woman in the Open era to achieve that feat.
French number one Marion Bartoli battled into the third round with another hard-fought win, 7-6, (7-5), 7-5 win over Colombian qualifier Mariana Duque-Marino and has now spent over five hours on court in just two matches.A She was further disturbed by being given a warning for seeking coaching from her father Walter, an ever-present at all the former Wimbledon finalist's matches.
There was more Russian success when Maria Kirilenko eased past Australian junior hope Ashleigh Barty 6-3, 6-1. In the top half of the draw, where the matches are already in the third round, top seed Serena Williams was going up against Sorana Cirstea, the 26th seed from Romania who reached the quarter-finals in 2009.
The 31-year-old Williams is seeking her 16th Grand Slam title, but just her second at the French Open after 2002. She is currently on a 26-match winning streak having won four tournaments in a row coming in to Roland Garros.