Jelena, Venus and Roger beat the Roland Garros rain
Third seed and many people’s favourite for the women’s title, Jelena Jankovic, made a successful start to her Roland Garros campaign during a rain-interrupted order of play on Monday.
The 23-year-old Serb, who confirmed her status as a contender for the title by defending her Italian Open crown a fortnight ago, beat Monica Niculescu from Romania 7-6(3), 6-2.
The world No.3 follows second seed Ana Ivanovic and fifth seed Serena Williams into the second round after they both won on Sunday, the opening day of the event.
Despite the victory, Jankovic admitted she didn’t have it all her own way.
“I had a good start and then she played some great shots, some fine drop shots. I got confused,” said Jankovic.
“I did not know what to expect and I lost my rhythm a bit.”
Venus Williams was the next big name through in the women’s draw, although she had to work hard for her second round place during a three-set tussle against Israeli Tzipora Obziler.
The American eventually recovered from a second set blip to win 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.
Twenty-third seed Alona Bondarenko wasn’t so fortunate though and will be packing her bags after crashing out to Czech Petra Cetkovska 6-3, 6-0.
Tenth seed Patty Schnyder and 12th seed Agnes Szavay both came through their first matches unscathed.
In the opening clash on the main Chatrier showcourt former clay court genius and French Open finalist Guillermo Coria pushed 12th seed Tommy Robredo hard before falling in four sets, 5-7, 6-4, 6-1, 6-4.
Later on, top seed Roger Federer also began his bid for the only piece of Major silverware still to find its way into his trophy cabinet with a victory.
The Swiss completed his first assignment with a solid 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 win over American Sam Querrey, a quarter-finalist in Monte Carlo this spring.
There were two big names to exit the men’s draw on Monday. Argentine 29th seed Guillermo Canas went down 7-6, 7-6, 7-6 against American Wayne Odesnik, while 17th seed Marcos Baghdatis crashed out to Italian Simone Bolelli 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.
Rafael Nadal’s first round meeting with Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci was delayed by bad weather, while the French fans were hit with the news that out-of-form world No.9 Richard Gasquet had withdrawn from the tournament with a knee injury.
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