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Rediff.com  » Sports » French Open PHOTOS: Nadal wobbles, Federer dances

French Open PHOTOS: Nadal wobbles, Federer dances

Last updated on: May 31, 2013 20:34 IST

Nadal wobbles into third round

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Defending champion Rafael Nadal stuttered for the second time so far at the French Open before moving through to the third round with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Slovakia's Martin Klizan on Friday.

The Spaniard, looking for his eighth Roland Garros title, looked ill at ease as fellow left hander Klizan came out swinging and dropped the first set before raising his game enough to claim victory in two hours 44 minutes.

Thursday's heavy rain meant the match was one of several second round ties held over and having not played since Monday, Nadal was clearly not firing on all cylinders.

On Monday he was pushed hard by Daniel Brands and world number 35 Klizan had obviously taken a leaf out of the German's book with some heavy hitting from the baseline to break the misfiring Spaniard's serve in the eighth game.


Image: Rafael Nadal plays a forehand against Martin Klizan of Slovakia during the second roubd at the French Open at Roland Garros on Thursday
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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Klizan squandered two break points

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Klizan brought up set point with a second serve ace and claimed the opener in 40 minutes.

Nadal surged 4-0 ahead in the second but 23-year-old Klizan remained a threat and recovered one of the breaks of serve.

Third seed Nadal took the second set and then moved a break ahead in the third but wobbled at 3-2 when Klizan earned two break points, only to squander his chance to draw level.

Klizan's challenge then faded and Nadal, without looking totally convincing and carelessly dropping serve late in the fourth set, secured a Saturday clash with Italian Fabio Fognini.


Image: Martin Klizan of Slovakia hits a return to Rafael Nadal
Photographs: Stephane Mahe/Reuters

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Sharapova makes cameo appearance to reach round three

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Maria Sharapova survived a string of unforced errors to book her place in the third round of the French Open on Friday with a 6-2, 6-4 rain-delayed win against Canada's Eugenie Bouchard.

The defending champion, seeded second at Roland Garros, returned to Court Philippe Chatrier leading 6-2 4-2 after the match had been interrupted by rain late on Thursday.

Despite Bouchard's late fight and a total of 28 unforced errors from the Russian, Sharapova wrapped it up in 15 minutes on her first match point.

She will face China's Zheng Jie for a last-16 spot.



Image: Maria Sharapova of Russia plays a forehand in her singles match against Eugenie Bouchard of Canada
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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Dimitrov to face Djokovic in 3rd round

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Grigor Dimitrov geared up for a third-round clash with world number one Novak Djokovic on Thursday by dismissing French teenager Lucas Pouille 6-1 7-6 (4) 6-1 in the second round.

The Bulgarian 26th seed, who beat Djokovic in the second round of the Madrid claycourt Masters this month, had too much in store for his opponent, who bowed out after sending a forehand into the net.

Dimitrov is the first Bulgarian man to reach the third round of a Grand Slam.

Djokovic saw off Argentine Guido Pella on Court Philippe Chatrier earlier on Thursday.



Image: Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria plays a forehand against Lucas Pouille of France
Photographs: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

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Fognini fights back to make third round

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Italian Fabio Fognini had to struggle before powering to a four-set win over Czech Lukas Rosol on Friday.

Fognini beat Rosol 6-2, 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-1 and will now face Nadal in the third round


Image: Fabio Fognini
Photographs: Julian Finney/Getty Images

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Sublime Federer dances into fourth round

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Roger Federer's French Open campaign gained momentum as the Swiss second seed eased past France's Julien Benneteau 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 to reach the fourth round in awe-inspiring fashion.

There was the usual array of running aerial forehands, gravity-defying drop shots and whipped backhands as the former world number one booked a meeting with American Sam Querrey, the 18th seed, or French 15th seed Gilles Simon.

Benneteau, the 30th seed, broke in the first game to open a 2-0 lead but 17-times Grand Slam champion Federer kept his cool and turned the situation around in no time.

Benneteau, who has been struggling with a groin problem, bowed out on the first match point when he could not retrieve yet another Federer forehand after 91 minutes.


Image: Roger Federer
Photographs: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

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Serena makes light work of Cirstea to advance

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Serena Williams breezed past Sorana Cirstea 6-0, 6-2 in the third round, extending her winning streak to 27 matches and laying down a marker of her title potential.

It took eight games and 33 minutes before her 26th-seeded Romanian opponent made a mark on the scoreboard, a feat that was greeted with sympathetic cheers from the Parisian crowd.

The world number one broke three times in the opening set and although she found the going tougher in the second, losing two early games and facing break points, she had too much power for Cirstea.

Williams, who won her only Roland Garros title in 2002, will play Czech Petra Cetkovska or Italy's Roberta Vinci in the next round.


Image: Serena Williams
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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Marathon man Isner at it again in Paris

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American marathon man John Isner soothed the memory of his record-breaking loss at last year's French Open with victory over Ryan Harrison in another five-set epic.

A year to the day that he lost to local favourite Paul-Henri Mathieu in a 76-game battle, the most ever played in a men's match at Roland Garros, Isner held off young gun Harrison to win 5-7, 6-7 (7), 6-3, 6-1, 8-6 in three hours 50 minutes.

The 19th seed looked to be on the way out after dropping the opening two sets in a second-round match held over from Thursday but struck back to grind down his 21-year-old rival.

After sealing victory, the 28-year-old was bent double after another brutal encounter and clearly relieved after ending a six-match losing sequence in matches going to five sets.

Isner, who faces Tommy Haas next, holds the overall all time record for the longest professional match in history when he beat France's Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 70-68 at Wimbledon in 2010. The match lasted 11 hours and five minutes.


Image: John Isner
Photographs: Julian Finney/Getty Images

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