herald

Thursday 21 September 2017

Roddick and Murray still reigning in Paris

Andy Roddick and Andy Murray ground down feisty opponents to reach the French Open third round yesterday, while the rain did a more convincing job, giving organisers a headache by tearing the schedule asunder.

Only 17 singles matches, several of which were held over after Wednesday's downpours, were completed and, with more adverse weather predicted for the weekend, officials face a daunting backlog to get back on schedule.

While Roddick and Murray were relieved to have seen off their opponents before gloom enclosed Roland Garros once again, former champion Ana Ivanovic went out with barely a whimper, while Kimiko Date Krumm's fairytale week fizzled out.

Not often does big-serving American Roddick have his greatest weapon broken seven times in a match, but Blaz Kavcic from Slovenia showed he had little respect for reputations in his first Roland Garros campaign.

Unfortunately for Kavcic, one of two Slovenian men to have broken through to the second round here, he had his own service foiled 10 times and he finally succumbed in a topsy-turvy match 6-3 5-7 6-4 6-2 in three minutes short of three hours.

Murray, likewise interrupted by two rain breaks, faced his contest with Juan Ignacio Chela stretching to a third day after rain halted play in the second set on Wednesday, but the British fourth seed saw off the seasoned Argentine in four sets with a mix of guile and superior fitness.

Persistent rain had started to batter Roland Garros a matter of minutes before the scheduled start and only relented after a near five-hour delay.

In between showers there was enough time for Ivanovic, a pale shadow of the starry-eyed champion of 2008, and 39-year-old Japanese veteran Date Krumm to bid their farewells -- Ivanovic to Russian 28th seed Alisa Kleybanova, 6-3 6-0, and Krumm 6-0 6-3 to Australia's Jarmila Groth.

Jelena Jankovic won through a tricky second-round test against Estonia's Kaia Kanepi in three sets, and Fabio Fognini further dampened the home crowd's spirits by seeing off 13th seed Gael Monfils.

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