A day that saw rain play spoilsport to most tennis action, causing a few matches to be cancelled and postponed, Day Three at Roland Garros still managed to bring out some fine tennis. Those that managed to complete their roster of plays, included top-seed Novak Djokovic, French hopes Marion Bartoli and Alize Cornet, former French Open semifinalist Nikolay Davydenko, Swiss Stan Wawrinka and other assorted panoply of players.
The French connect
Marion Bartoli who opened the day’s play in a rain marred day at the Philippe Chartrier faced a stiff opponent in Belarusian Olga Govortsova. The opening set saw Bartoli trail 3-5 before Govortsova allowed the French woman to break back into the set to take it to a decisive tie-break. The second set saw Bartoli lose focus yet again, which allowed Govortsova to even proceedings with a 6-4 victory. In the third however Bartoli proved to be strong, wrapping the match in the 12th game in her own serve.
Alize Cornet meanwhile, playing on the Suzanne Lenglen, had a comparatively lesser dramatic victory over Portuguese Maria Joao Koehler. Her 7-5, 6-2 victory was followed on the heels of German Haas’s straight-set triumph over Frenchman Guillaume Rufin in the opening match at Lenglen.
Benoit Paire, who took to the court after Alize Cornet, was leading Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis in the third set after the two spilt the first two sets evenly. The match is scheduled to take place today – Day Four – at the Lenglen.
Of the Djoker, the Russian and the Swiss
Novak Djokovic had a pretty comfortable sailing against Belgian David Goffin, winning their encounter 7-6, 6-4, 7-5. Aside from Nole’s impeccable performance – coming in the heels of a few unwanted early losses at important tournaments – it was David Goffin who continued to make his case as a future tennis prodigy strong.
Currently unseeded Russian Nikolay Davydenko also made his presence felt in his opening round against Frenchman Florent Serra. The Russian enjoyed a pretty sedate match, winning it in straight sets 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 as would have been expected by many.
Stanislas Wawrinka meanwhile required four sets to quell Dutch challenger Thiemo de Bakker. Playing the last match of the day at Court One, Wawrinka had to tough it out 7-5, 6-3, 6-7, 7-5 in their over three hour match.
Troubles and Tomic, retirements and walk-overs
Aussie teen Bernard Tomic had a continuation of bad run with injury forcing him to retire in his first round match against Romanian Victor Hanescu. At the time of Tomic’s retirement, the Romanian was leading him two sets to love and two games to one in the third.
Retirements continued to plague Day Three with Italy’s Simone Bolelli retiring against Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei, Columbian Alejandro Falla retiring against his first round match against Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov and Florian Mayer of Germany pulling out of his match against Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin. The doubles team of Philip Petzschner and Benjamin Becker also pulled out of the tournament on account of injury, in their match against Frantisek Cermak and Michal Mertinak.
The oldest of them all
42-year old Japanese Kimiko Date-Krumm, the oldest woman in the draw lost her opening round match against Australian ninth seed Samantha Stosur. The Aussie completely derailed the Japanese, winning the match in just over an hour, losing just two games.
In the men’s draw, the oldest male tennis player, Frenchman Marc Gicquel bowed out to Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in their first round match. The Spaniard won convincingly in straight sets, losing just six games overall.
Rest of the day’s assorted array
Jelena Jankovic, Philip Kohlschreiber, Dominika, Cibulkova, Jack Sock, Mikhail Youzhny, Guido Pella, Marina Erakovic and Yaroslava Shvedova were some of the other victors from the day’s play.
Men’s Doubles’ first round action that also began saw top-seeded Americans, Bryan Brother emerge victors over their opponents in straight sets. Fourth seeded Indian hopes Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna meanwhile lost in straight sets to the unheralded Polish doubles team of Jerzy Janowicz and Tomasz Bednarek.Published 29 May 2013, 14:33 IST