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Star-studded Friday at French Open

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-05-31

Friday is a big day at Roland Garros, with former champion Roger Federer, defending men’s champion Rafael Nadal (pictured), women’s title-holder Maria Sharapova and top seeded Serena Williams all making appearances on the red clay.

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, with 47 Grand Slam titles between them, star at the French Open on Friday as the tournament plays catch-up after Thursday's rain deluge.

Defending men's champion Nadal, seeking a record eighth Roland Garros title, only got to warm-up for his second round clash against Slovakia's Martin Klizan before the match was held over for a day.

Sharapova, the women's title holder, was 6-4, 4-2 up against Canadian teenager Eugenie Bouchard when rain brought a halt to their clash, which means she too has to return for a second successive day.

Federer, the 2009 champion in Paris, plays his third round match against France's Julien Benneteau, having enjoyed a trouble-free first two rounds, beating two qualifiers for the loss of just 11 games.

"It can be complicated after getting through two rounds when I have not spent much time on court," said the 31-year-old Federer.

Benneteau beat the Swiss in Rotterdam earlier this year and came within two points of knocking him out at Wimbledon in 2012 after taking the opening two sets.

"When I play against him he makes it difficult for me, and I have some problems and I have to find a solution. Anyway, I like that kind of challenge I'm looking forward to it. We didn't play often on clay."

Federer has won 56 career matches at Roland Garros to stand just two behind the record of Guillermo Vilas and Nicola Pietrangeli.

He also has 898 wins on the men's tour, 25 short of joining Vilas in third spot in the all-time list headed by Jimmy Connors on a seemingly unsurpassable 1,243 ahead of Ivan Lendl on 1,071.

Top seeded Serena Williams tackles Romania's Sorana Cirstea and is on a 26-match winning streak.

The 31-year-old American, who won her only French Open title in 2002, has dropped just four games in two rounds.

Elsewhere Friday, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, regarded as France's best hope of a first men's champion since Yannick Noah in 1983, faces countryman Jeremy Chardy for a place in the last 16.

Men's fourth seed David Ferrer tackles fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, while the number four ranked woman, Agnieszka Radwanska, faces Dinah Pfizenmaier of Germany.

Pfizenmaier, who came through qualifying, knocked out Radwanska's younger sister Urszula in the second round.

(AFP)

Date created : 2013-05-31

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