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Venus, Davydenko take advantage of dry spell
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May 28, 2007 21:19 IST

It was a case of better late than never for Venus Williams and Nikolay Davydenko when the pair made the most of a short dry spell to sneak into the second round of the French Open on Monday.

Rain pelted down over Roland Garros for the second day running and Williams capitalised on the 90-minute window to overcome rising French prospect Alize Cornet 6-4, 6-3 while Davydenko demolished Italian Stefano Galvani 6-3, 6-1, 6-1.

Williams had expected to face Cornet on Sunday but instead ended up spending the day twiddling her thumbs in the locker room as drizzle washed away most of the opening day's schedule.

After enduring a further three-hour delay on Monday, the American took out her frustrations on her 17-year-old opponent.

Playing in front of a smattering of fans, Williams survived four games going against the serve and took the first set with a stinging crosscourt winner.

Cornet, ranked 118th in the world and without a title to her name, was not expected to pose much of a threat to the five-times grand slam champion.

Once she lost a chance to go 3-2 up with a break in the second set, her hope of pulling off an upset evaporated into the grey clouds hanging over Centre Court.

Davydenko wrapped up his win just in time after a stressful morning. 

As rain began to beat down on the red clay Galvani tossed a forehand wide to hand the Russian victory.

"At 4-1 (in the third), I was thinking to myself 'I need to break, break, break or play faster because the rain was coming'. I didn't want to stop and end up needing one more game (for victory)."

The Russian said he had also faced a few jittery moments in the morning when he was stuck in traffic en route to Roland Garros and would have turned up late if his match had started as scheduled at 1100 local time.

"I was nervous about being disqualified as I was going nowhere where in the traffic. I was thinking, I don't have time to take shower, I don't have time to change clothes� it was pretty tough."

More showers are forecast for the rest of the week.

Organisers have already postponed 22 matches on Monday, including women's fourth seed Jelena Jankovic's contest against France's Stephanie Foretz.

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