Serbian delight for starters on French platter
Jelena Jankovic dominated her opponent before a 2-hour rain delay Tuesday, and then did well enough after it to advance to the second round of the French Open by beating Petra Cetkovska of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-3.
The fifth-seeded Jankovic was leading 4-1 when the rain started at Roland Garros. She quickly closed out the first set when play resumed and continued to play well on Cetkovska's serve in the second but was broken twice on her own.
“I was controlling the points ... but then we had to stop because of the rain,” Jankovic said. “I felt a little bit slow after the rain delay.”
While serving for the match, Jankovic again struggled and was forced to save break points before finally winning. “The serve was all right. I didn't go for too much,” said Jankovic, who added the balls were heavier than usual because of the wet weather. “I just tried to have a high percentage.” Jankovic finished last season as the top-ranked player on the women's tour, but the 24-year-old Serb is still looking to win her first Grand Slam singles title after losing in the final of last year's US Open.
Seventh-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova also advanced, defeating Claire Feuerstein of France 6-1, 6-4. The 2004 US Open champion also dominated before the rain started falling, leading 5-1. Later Tuesday, second-seeded Serena Williams was playing on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
In the men's tournament, fourth-seeded Novak Djokovic advanced when Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuador retired while trailing 6-3, 3-1 after injuring his left ankle.
Lapentti hurt his ankle when coming to net at 5-2 in the first set. He called for a trainer but then continued playing.
The fourth-seeded Djokovic, who won his fourth career title on clay at this month's Serbia Open, has reached the semifinals at the French Open the last two years. He also won the 2008 Australian Open.
Fifth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina had little trouble in his opening match at Roland Garros, beating Michael Llodra of France 6-3, 6-3, 6-1. Del Potro won four straight ATP titles last year, the first two on clay.
No. 27 Rainer Schuettler of Germany narrowly avoided a “triple bagel” after being shut out in the first two sets of a 6-0, 6-0, 6-4 loss to Marc Gicquel of France.
On Friday, Schuettler lost to Robin Soderling 6-0, 6-0 at the ATP World Team Championship in Germany.
“A 'double bagel' is fine,” said Schuettler, who reached the semifinals at last year's Wimbledon. “I had one last week. It's nothing new.”
Gicquel was unapologetic about the thrashing.
“I didn't come here to sympathize,” said the Frenchman, who was trying to win the third set at love as well. “If I tried to give him one or two games, then everything could be overturned against me.”
No 11 Gael Monfils of France also advanced, easily beating Bobby Reynolds of the United States 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 despite being hampered by an injury to his left knee.