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Bartoli suffers first round loss
May 28, 2008 19:12 IST
French ninth seed Marion Bartoli was knocked out 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 by Australian Casey Dellacqua in the first round of the French Open on Wednesday.
Last year's Wimbledon finalist was 6-5 up when rain ended play on Tuesday but she could not find her pace on Wednesday, bowing out after two hours and two minutes.
Dellacqua will next face another Frenchwoman, Nathalie Dechy, for a place in the third round.
Maria Sharapova [Images], meanwhile, came perilously close to an unwanted place in the record books when the sun finally shone at Roland Garros.
The Russian, seeking to complete her full set of Grand Slams in Paris, was two points away from defeat during her first-round match against unheralded Evgeniya Rodina, but finally prevailed after a two hour 28 minute tussle on Court Philippe Chatrier.
No women's top seed has bowed out at the first hurdle in Paris since the sport turned professional in 1968, and for spells it looked like Rodina, in her first match in a slam, and the blustery conditions would catch her out.
"I just hung in there," Sharapova said in a courtside interview after her 6-1, 3-6, 8-6 victory.
"It was far from my best tennis today but you try to learn from your mistakes. Not many things were working for me today."
Unfortunately for former champion Juan Carlos Ferrero one of the things not working for him was his right leg.
The 2003 winner was a set up and 2-2 against Brazilian journeyman Marcos Daniel when he called it a day with the long-term injury and making it the first time in eight attempts he had failed to pass the first round on the red clay.
"At the moment, I don't know exactly what the problem is," said the deflated Spaniard.
"Doctors tell me they know, and they told me they could cure it. But at the end of the day, it still hurts."
After the first three days were dogged by showers, Australian 25th seed Lleyton Hewitt [Images] prospered with the sun on his back, sending another home hope crashing with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 win over Nicolas Mahut.
Seeds David Ferrer and Radek Stepanek also enjoyed comfortable progress.
Fifth-ranked Spaniard Ferrer lost his serve just once in a 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 demolition of Belgium's Steve Darcis, while Czech Stepanek, the number 21 seed and former beau of the now retired Martina Hingis [Images], dispatched France's [Images] Gilles Simon for the loss of just seven games.
Russian seventh seed Elena Dementieva, whose infamously flaky serve was tested to the full in the stiff breeze, overcame the loss of a first set tiebreak before crushing Russian compatriot Vera Dushevina 6-7, 6-0, 6-2.
Men's number two and three-times defending champion Rafael Nadal [Images] resumed his first-round match at 1-1 against Brazilian qualifier Thomaz Bellucci.
Third seed Novak Djokovic, Britain's 12th-ranked Andy Murray and Serena Williams [Images], the only former winner in the women's draw, were all scheduled to play second-round matches on Wednesday.