Paris comes alive with big name exits
Originally published on 26/02/10 11:01
After a fairly pedestrian first four days, the French Open sparked into life on Thursday as David Nalbandian, James Blake and Amelie Mauresmo all lost.
Seventh seed Blake was the first of the mens stars to go, losing his second round encounter with young Latvian Ernests Gulbis 7-6, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.
A couple of hours later sixth seed Nalbandian showed why he is still a long way from grand slam-winning form after bursting onto the world stage back at Wimbledon in 2002.
Nalbandian took the first two sets against new French hero Jeremy Chardy, before crumbling to a 3-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 defeat.
Chardys victory will help French tennis fans get over another disappointing performance from their former world No.1 Mauresmo who lost 6-3, 6-4 to Spains Carla Suarez Navarro.
The day began on the main Chatrier show court with a businesslike 6-2, 6-4 second round success for eighth seed Venus Williams against Tunisias Selima Sfar.
Third seed Jelena Jankovic also went through after a decent workout against New Zealands Marina Erakovic, eventually wrapping things up 6-2, 7-6.
And 19th seed and recent Rome finalist Alize Cornet won her held-over contest with Argentine Gisela Dulko from Wednesday night 6-4 in the third.
Later in the day Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal both made it through to round three, albeit in different circumstances.
Top-seeded Federer had an early shock when he lost the opening set to Spains Albert Montanes before changing gear and recording a 6-7, 6-1, 6-0, 6-4 win.
Federer plays the winner of the second round match between Croat Mario Ancic and Spains David Marrero.
Nadal, in contrast, was always in control during his 6-4, 6-0, 6-1 win over Frenchman Nicolas Devilder to set up a meeting with Finlands Jarko Nieminen.
Earlier, there were victories for 15th seed Mikhail Youzhny and 30th seed Dmitry Tursunov.