World number one Novak Djokovic battled through unseasonable rain showers and a determined opponent on Tuesday to advance in the French Open. More forecasted rain could bring trouble to the renowned clay courts.
World number one Novak Djokovic won his first-round match against Belgium’s David Goffin on Tuesday at the French Open, but rain delays of four hours played havoc with the schedule at Roland Garros and more rain forecast for this week is likely to see further disruptions at the tournament.
Djokovic, who is trying to caputure his first French Open title ever, started his campaign in Paris by beating Goffin 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 7-5.
But reaching the second round was no walk in the park for the Serbian tennis star.
Goffin showed he was ready to take the fight to his rival, flashing punchy forehands that forced Djokovic to stay on his toes and dig down for his best arsenal.
Adding to Djokovic’s trouble were showers that delayed the start of their match until 6:30pm, even though theirs was only the second of the day. He finally claimed victory shortly before 9pm as the light was fading.
“I warmed up five or six times because of the rain, then you have to adjust your tactics because of the damp conditions,” said Djokovic, who next faces Guido Pella of Argentina, the world number 83.
In all, three matches were suspended in progress and 11 were postponed entirely on Tuesday.
Other winners on Tuesday included 2010 French Open runner-up and 2011 US Open winner Samanatha Stosur, who beat Japan’s Kimiko Date-Krumm 6-0, 6-2.
Serena back on the clay, maybe
Paris awoke under a big blue sky, but national weather forecaster France Météo predicted there would be more rain in the afternoon and throughout most of the week.
Weather permitting, Wednesday’s schedule was packed with exciting matchups, especially for the home crowd.
Women’s top seed Serena Williams was facing French teenager Caroline Garcia in her second-round match. While Garcia is ranked only 114 worldwide, she pushed current champion Maria Sharapova to the brink at Roland Garros two years ago (3/6, 6/4, 6/0).
Italian Sara Errani, last year’s runner-up, was also scheduled to hit the clay court.
On the men’s side, world number two Roger Federer, who claimed the French Open title in 2009, takes on Indian Somdev Devvarman in a second-round contest.
Sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, considered France’s best hope for glory this year, plays Finn Jarkko Nieminen, while fellow countryman Gael Monfils takes on Ernests Gulbis of Latvia.
Date created : 2013-05-29