Thursday, May 28, 2009

French Open Review Day 3

2009 French Open - Day Three

Novak Djokovic had only a brief workout in his opening match at the French Open as he eased into the second round.

The Serbian, the main attraction on day two in the men's draw, was in full control of his match against Nicolas Lapentti on Philippe Chatrier court when Lapentti retired midway through the second set with a left ankle injury.

Djokovic, leading 6-3 3-1 at that stage, was cantering to success in windy conditions and admitted he would have liked some more competitive game time to settle into the tournament.

"I would have loved to have had more points and stayed a little bit longer on court," said Djokovic, who will play Sergiy Stakhovsky next.

"But, having said that, we didn't have a lot of rallies today because of the conditions. They were strange and difficult to play.

"I needed a little more time to get into a rhythm."

Two of the leading French hopes, Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, made it through to the second round.

Monfils arrived at Roland Garros nursing a knee injury and although the 11th seed admitted feeling the problem towards the end of his 6-2 6-3 6-1 win over American Bobby Reynolds, he was happy with the win.

"During the rallies I was there, I was into the game," said last year's semi-finalist.

"Physically I now know I can play an hour and a half and I still have some reserves. I have more in me."

Ninth seed Tsonga, back in Paris after a three-year absence because of injury, won his first match at his home grand slam, defeating compatriot Julien Benneteau 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-4.

Earlier, fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro had to endure two stoppages for rain before easing through at the expense of another Frenchman, Michael Llodra.

The Argentinian was a comfortable 6-3 6-3 6-1 winner on Court One but the inclement weather tested his patience.

Beginning their match under grey skies, the players went off after 20 minutes of action - at 11.30am local time - because of rain with Del Potro 3-1 ahead.

He resumed two hours later to take the first two sets but went off for a short five-minute spell as another shower came and went.

Del Potro breezed through the third set to clinch a round-two clash with Viktor Troicki.

The 20-year-old said: "I feel good. What I did well is play well in the moments I had to, and that was enough."

Mardy Fish (22) and Rainer Schuettler (27) were seeded casualties on the tournament's third day of action.

America's Fish was defeated in four sets by Maximo Gonzalez while Germany's Schuettler, a semi-finalist at Wimbledon last year, only narrowly avoided a 'triple bagel'.

He was still humiliated 6-0 6-0 6-4 by France's Marc Gicquel nonetheless.

Sixteenth seed Tommy Robredo was a convincing 6-2 6-1 6-2 winner against France's Adrian Mannarino and Philipp Kohlschreiber, the 29th seed, thrashed Bernard Tomic in straight sets.

Elsewhere, unseeded Argentinian Juan Monaco - a dangerous floater in the draw - eased past Marcos Baghdatis 6-3 6-2 6-4 and 2003 champion Juan Carlos Ferrero overcame Ivan Ljubicic in five sets.

James Blake, the 15th seed, joined fellow Americans Fish and Reynolds on the Roland Garros scrapheap after he was beaten 7-6 (8/6) 7-5 6-2 by Argentina's Leonardo Mayer.

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