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Rediff.com  » Sports » PHOTOS: Nadal stumbles, Tsonga sizzles at French Open

PHOTOS: Nadal stumbles, Tsonga sizzles at French Open

Last updated on: May 27, 2013 21:18 IST

Edgy Nadal stumbles into second round

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Rafael Nadal was forced to dig deep into his near bottomless resolve to salvage a 4-6, 7-6, 6-4, 6-3 first round win against Germany's Daniel Brands that had threatened to turn nasty for the seven-times French Open champion.

The Spaniard who has lost only once in eight years at Roland Garros, was a set and 3-0 down in the second-set tiebreak before finally subduing the 59th ranked Brands.

Playing his first Grand Slam match since crashing out of last year's Wimbledon to lowly ranked Czech Lukas Rosol, history threatened to repeat itself as Brands, who had never won a match at Roland Garros in four attempts, dictated the early stages.

Nadal, down to fourth in the rankings after seven months out injured, broke in the first game of both the third and fourth sets to wrestle back control of the match.


Image: Rafael Nadal
Photographs: Julian Finney/Getty Images

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Li fights past Garrigues

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Chinese sixth seed Li Na was kept on her toes as she reached the second round of the French Open with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Spain's Anabel Medina Garrigues on Monday.

Li, the 2011 Roland Garros champion who had never beaten Medina Garrigues in three previous claycourt meetings, was never allowed to let her guard down by the world number 68 on a sunsoaked Court Philippe Chatrier, but she prevailed on her first match point after one hour 44 minutes.

Li opened a 4-0 lead in the first set before a resilient Medina Garrigues threatened a comeback by breaking back twice.

The Spaniard opened a 2-0 lead in the second set but could not capitalise on her advantage as Li roared back to win four games in a row, relying on a series of booming forehand winners.

Medina Garrigues levelled for 4-4 before dropping serve in the ninth game. Li sealed the win when Medina Garrigues fired a forehand long.


Image: Li Na
Photographs: Julian Finney/Getty Images

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Tsonga breezes past Bedene

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Local favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga barely broke sweat as he brushed aside Slovenian Aljaz Bedene 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 to book his place in the second round .

The sixth-seeded Tsonga, the last French man to reach a Grand Slam final at the Australian Open in 2008, will next take on either compatriot Paul-Henri Mathieu or Finn Jarkko Nieminen.

Tsonga, who could run into second seed Roger Federer in the quarter-finals, simply had too much power and pace for Bedene, who was playing his only second Grand Slam match.

The 28-year-old Frenchman ended the contest on Court Suzanne Lenglen on his first match point with a service winner.


Image: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Photographs: Julian Finney/Getty Images

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Radwanska thrashes Peer

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Fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, playing despite a painful shoulder, thrashed Israel's Shahar Peer 6-1, 6-1 in her first round match.


Image: Agnieszka Radwanska
Photographs: Julian Finney/Getty Images

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Wozniacki storms into second round

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Former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki ended a dreadful recent run of first-round defeats to beat Britain's Laura Robson 6-3, 6-2.


Image: Caroline Wozniacki
Photographs: Julian Finney/Getty Images

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