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Federer breaks a sweat, record

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic gave themselves more work than anticipated in moving into the third round of the French Open on Wednesday. Former champion Federer set a record with his 234th Grand-Slam match win but only after wasting two matchpoints in a third-set tiebreak and having to play a fourth set to beat Romanian Adrian Ungur.

The third-seeded Federer eventually won 6-3 6-2 6-7 6-3 on a sunny Philippe Chatrier court to pass Jimmy Connors’s professional-era record, having equalled it in the first round. “Instead of being aggressive I let him show me what he could do,” Federer said of the lost matchpoints. “He played two beautiful shots and he played very well.”

World number one Djokovic, aiming to become the first man in 43 years to hold all four Slam titles at the same time, rattled off the first seven games before faltering against Slovenian Blaz Kavcic. “I stopped,” the Serbian told a news conference, after the match turned into a fierce battle which he finally won 6-0 6-4 6-4. “I gave him the opportunity to come back into the match after a perfect first seven games.”

The fans sitting in the sunshine on Suzanne Lenglen court threw themselves behind underdog Kavcic and the Slovenian played on their sympathy, urging them on when they cheered his first game win at the start of the second set. Their noisy enthusiasm reached a high point after he saved a breakpoint to hold for 3-3 in the third set and then went 0-30 up in the next game, and the umpire sternly warned the crowd to keep quiet during play.

Argentine men’s ninth seed Juan Martin del Potro also reached the third round with a 6-7 7-6 6-4 victory over Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin and will now play Croatian Marin Cilic. The French fans were delighted to see Gilles Simon win through 6-4 6-1 6-7 1-6 6-0 after a tough match with American wildcard Brian Baker.

Women’s world number one Victoria Azarenka redeemed herself of a sloppy start when she easily beat German qualifier Dinah Pfizenmaier 6-1 6-1 in her second match. The Belarussian lost the first game but then reeled off 11 in a row and declared herself happy, saying: Definitely played much better today. She now faces Canada’s Aleksandra Wozniak.

Serena, Bartoli out

Serena Williams crashed to the worst Grand Slam defeat of her career on Tuesday when she slumped to a dramatic and thrilling 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 French Open loss to France’s world 111 Virginie Razzano. It was the 30-year-old American’s first ever exit at the opening round stage of her 47-event Grand Slam career and her earliest loss at a major since she was knocked out of the Australian Open second round by sister Venus in 1998.

On a night of unbearable tension on Philippe Chatrier Court, Williams saved seven match points in the ninth game of the nerve-jangling decider. “I’m disappointed, but that’s life, things could be worse,” said Williams, who missed last year’s Roland Garros as she battled life-threatening blood clots in her lungs. “I’ve been through so much in my life. I’m not sitting here happy. I’ve gotta figure out what I did wrong and not do it again. I fought until the end.”

Razzano was overjoyed by her astonishing triumph. “You (the crowd) gave me your energy. I’m gonna have to rest. Thank you all for your support,” said a breathless Razzano after a three-hour struggle. “I knew I had it in me and I dug deep inside myself to find it.”

Eighth seeded Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli, a semi-finalist last year, hit 14 double faults on the way to a defeat by Croatian world number 50 Petra Martic. The 21-year-old Martic reached the third round of a Major for the first time with her fighting 6-2 3-6 6-3 victory. Ana Ivanovic, the 2008 French champion and a former world number one, was happy to reach the third round too, after losing at the first hurdle here in an injury-plagued 2011. U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur, the runner-up here two years ago, raced to a 5-0 lead before beating American world number 112 Irina Falconi 6-1 6-4.

Paes, Bhupathi win

Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, along with their respective partners, advanced to the second round of the mixed doubles event. The fifth seeded Indo-Russian pair of Paes and Elena Vesnina thrashed Czech pair Lucie Hradecka and Frantisek Cermak 6-1 6-1. Bhupathi and Sania Mirza crossed the opening round hurdle with a 6-2 6-4 win over American combo of Raquel Kops-Jones and Eric Butorac.

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Posted by on May 31 2012. Filed under Sports News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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