Djokovic starts French Open with a win

May 27th, 2009 - 6:03 am ICT by IANS  

Novak Djokovic Paris, May 27 (DPA) Novak Djokovic waited out a weather delay before starting his match, but made up for lost time in 78 minutes, as injured Nicolas Lapentti had to stop after twice twisting his ankle in their contest at the French Open Tuesday.
The fourth-seeded Serb advanced 6-3, 3-1 in a bittersweet win after rain interrupted earlier matches for up to two hours.

Men’s Argentine fifth seed Juan Del Potro was equally speedy in his three-set demolition of Frenchman Michael Llodra 6-3, 6-3, 6-1.

“Conditions today were really strange and difficult for play,” said Djokovic. “Everybody could see the power the wind was creating, you couldn’t really judge which side it was going to blow.

“I had to stay really focused, that’s why I made more unforced errors than I was supposed to, I needed a little more time to get into the rhythm.”

A pair of French seeds advanced, led by number nine Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 winner over compatriot Julien Benneteau.

As promised 11th seed Gael Monfils played through his recent knee pain, defeating Bobby Reynolds 6-2, 6-3, 6-1.

Marc Gicquel of France sprang another ugly loss on German Rainer Schuettler. The 33-year-old Wimbledon semi-finalist from 2008 was bundled out 6-0, 6-0, 6-4 in little more than 90 minutes, a week after being routed 6-0, 6-0 at the World Team Championship.

Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber schooled rising Australian teenager Bernard Tomic 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 as the youngster played only his 13th clay match of the past three years.

Women’s second seed Serena Williams turned in a sloppy, shocking effort, wasting eight match points before getting Czech Klara Zakopalova 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4 less than two months after the Czech, ranked 100, beat her on clay.

Williams had not won any of her three clay contest this season, quitting her last in Madrid a fortnight ago with injury.

Fourth seed Elena Dementieva had it easy in beating South African Chanelle Scheepers 6-4, 6-3 while Jelena Jankovic and Svetlana Kuznetsova completed wins into the second round after a rain interruption.

Number five Jankovic completed a defeat of Czech Petra Cetkovska 6-2, 6-3 and 2006 finalist Kuznetsova stopping Claire Feuerstein of France 6-1, 6-4.

Jankovic, who ended 2008 as number one, confessed: “I felt a bit slow when I came back after the rain delay.

“But I’m happy to finish in two sets and go through. I’m trying to get into my top form and make little baby steps forward. That’s the goal for this tournament - give my maximum in every point, every match and see how things go for me.”

New number 10 Caroline Wozniacki finished off a contest interrupted by darkness the night before, playing the final set to beat Russian Dushevina 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.

Jelena Dokic and Samantha Stosur picked up a pair of Australian wins, with Dokic beating Karolina Sprem 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 and Stosur rolling Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 6-2.

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