Wozniacki, Zvonareva Survive Drama on Day 4 at French Open
World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki put down strong resistance from qualifier Aleksandra Wozniak in her second-round match Wednesday at the French Open, dispatching of the Canadian 6-3, 7-6(6).
“Thankfully I finished it in two sets. It could easily have been three,” said Wozniacki, who was down triple set point in the tiebreak. “I’m more comfortable on hardcourts but at the same time I think I play well on clay, and I’ve shown that with the results I’ve done on clay so far this season. I’m just going to take it one match at a time here and we’ll see how it goes.”
No. 3-seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva likewise had trouble in her second-round meeting with qualifier Sabine Lisicki, eventually outlasting the German 4-6, 7-5, 7-5. Zvonareva weathered a match point and medical drama after the German called the trainer in the third set, and after the loss was taken off the court sobbing uncontrollably, on a stretcher, suffering from dizziness and cramping.
“I didn’t have much in my mind,” Zvonareva said of facing down a match point. “I was just trying to focus one point at a time and fight like I did since the very first point. I got a little lucky and was able to turn the match around.”
Other Top 10-seeded winners were No. 5 Francesca Schiavone, No. 8 Sam Stosur and No. 10 Jelena Jankovic, all straight-set winners.
Lower seeds into the third round on Wednesday included No. 11 Marion Bartoli defeating qualifier Olga Govortsova in three, No. 13 Svetlana Kuznetsova dropping only two games, No. 14 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, No. 17 Julia “Gorgeous” Goerges coming back to defeat Lucie Safarova after dropping the opening set, No. 28 Daniela Hantuchova losing only three games, and No. 20 Peng Shuai.
Hantuchova and Wozniacki will next square off, with the world No. 1 leading the career series 3-0.
Argentine Gisela Dulko orchestrated the lone upset of the day, topping No. 32 Tsvetana Pironkova 6-4, 6-2.
Among all-unseeded match-ups of note, Bethanie Mattek-Sands edged Varvara Lepchenko in an all-American three-set tussle, Canadian Rebecca Marino came from set down to defeat Spaniard Jose Martinez Sanchez, and Spanish qualifier Nuria Llagostera Vives wiped the court with Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 6-0, 6-2.
Mattek-Sands will next face her buddy Jankovic.
“I haven’t played her in a while,” said Mattek-Sands, who is 2-1 career against Jankovic. “The last time was last year in Rome. I had a tough three set match. She’s been Top 10 for the last five years. She’s one of my good friends actually. We joke a lot. It’s cool that she is very relaxed and outgoing and just seems to enjoy tennis. I think we’ll have a good match. She likes the clay and is playing good, so I’ve got to be ready.”
Matches to watch on Thursday at Roland Garros include (2) Kim Clijsters vs. former world No. 1 junior Arantxa Rus, (7) Maria Sharapova vs. Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia, Indian princess Sania Mirza vs. (12) Aggie Radwanska, and Spanish dirtballer Anabel “Funky Cold” Medina Garrigues vs. (24) Jarmila Gajdosova.
13 Men’s Seeds Advanced Untouched on Wednesday at Roland Garros
The men’s seeds at the French Open did their best WTA tour impression on Wednesday, plowing through their opponents while nary dropping a set, with all 13 seeds in action advancing, nine in straight sets.
Favorites No. 2 Novak Djokovic and No. 3 Roger Federer hurried into the third round, the Serb defeating Victor Hanescu when the Romanian retired trailing 6-4, 6-1, 2-3 with a left thigh injury, and the Swiss rolling past France’s Max Teixeira 6-3, 6-0, 6-2.
“It’s so difficult to come out and play on a big court when you are not used to it,” said Federer of his rookie opponent. “I’m playing here for the 12th year and I’m very experienced,” clarified the Swiss for fans unfamiliar with his career.
Other Top 10-seeded winners were No. 7 David Ferrer and No. 9 Gael “Force” Monfils, both winners in straights.
Lower seeds advancing on the day were No. 12 Mikhail Youzhny, No. 13 Richard Gasquet (dropping a set to Marc Granollers), No. 14 Stan Wawrinka, No. 17 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 23 Thomaz Bellucci, No. 25 Juan Martin del Potro, No. 29 Janko Tipsarevic, No. 30 Guillermo “G-Lo” Garcia-Lopez outlasting Turkey’s Marcel Ilhan 13-11 in the fifth, and No. 31 Serg Stakhovsky defeating Kei Nishikori in four.
Del Potro earns a match-up with Djokovic, who will attempt to stretch his 2011 win-loss record to 40-0.
“It’s a big challenge for both of us,” Djokovic said in an on-court interview. “He always deserved to be a Top 5 player in the world. He can play equally well on any surface. It’s going to be interesting for us to play.”
Excitement on the men’s side on Thursday at Roland Garros includes (4) Andy “Meltdown” Murray vs. Italian Simone Bolelli, the all-French encounter of Jeremy Chardy vs. (18) Gilles Simon, (1) Rafael Nadal vs. Spanish countryman sacrifice Pablo Andujar, Xavier “X-Man” Malisse vs. (16) Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco, (10) Mardy Fish vs. Robin “Not Tommy” Haase, (21) Alexandr Dolgopolov vs. Austrian Andreas “Don’t Be a” Haider-Maurer, and (24) “Slammin'” Sam Querrey vs. Ivan Ljubicic.
TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
While Maria Sharapova and Kim Clijsters bid for their first French Open, Vera Zvonareva is trying to reach the semifinals at all four majors and win her first Slam. Zvonareva Wednesday saved a match point and overcame a 5-2 third set hole to beat a cramping Sabine Lisicki…Novak Djokovic tied the best streaks Roger Federer and Bjorn Borg ever had at 41. Not bad…Victor Hanescu is the only player thus far to retire from the French Open…How often does Roger Federer play at 11am local time? Not often…Were there really no English press in Federer’s press conference Wednesday? How the mighty have fallen…There are six lefties on the men’s side playing Thursday…Bethanie Mattek-Sands will pass Venus Williams in the next WTA rankings…Andy Murray has never lost to a lucky loser while Simone Bolelli has never beaten a Top 10 player…Xavier Malisse and Mardy Fish are each one win from 250…Caroline Garcia is jailbait at only 17 years old (not in France?)…Zheng Jie has 300 career match wins…American fashion plate Bethanie Mattek-Sands says Lady Gaga is one of her inspirations: “I think she’s very individual. Obviously she’s come out with some crazy stuff. I don’t know that I would be able to play in a meat dress or anything. I was thinking of stapling some bacon on my shoulder or something, but I don’t know how that would work out in the sun. But she’s cool. She has cool songs. Just you never know what she’s going to do next, and I really can appreciate that.”…Leander Paes has played tour doubles events with 86 different partners according to the ATP.
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