x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Jankovic serves it up

Jelena Jankovic dominated her opponent before a two-hour rain delay, beating Petra Cetkovska of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-3.

Jelena Jankovic controlled the points throughout her first round match against Petra Cetkovska at Roland Garros today.
Jelena Jankovic controlled the points throughout her first round match against Petra Cetkovska at Roland Garros today.

PARIS // Jelena Jankovic dominated her opponent before a two-hour rain delay today, and then did well enough after it to advance to the second round of the French Open by beating Petra Cetkovska of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-3. The fifth-seeded Jankovic was leading 4-1 when the rain started at Roland Garros. She closed out the first set when play resumed and continued to play well on Cetkovska's serve in the second but was broken twice on her own.

"I was controlling the points ... but then we had to stop because of the rain," Jankovic said. "I felt a little bit slow after the rain delay." While serving for the match, Jankovic again struggled and was forced to save break points before finally winning. "The serve was all right. I didn't go for too much," said Jankovic, who added the balls were heavy because of the wet weather. "I just tried to have a high percentage."

Jankovic finished last season as the top-ranked player on the women's tour, but the Serb, 24, is still looking to win her first grand slam singles title. The seventh-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova also advanced, defeating Claire Feuerstein of France 6-1, 6-4. The 2004 US Open champion also dominated before the rain started falling, leading 5-1. In the men's event, Novak Djokovic got through his first round match when his opponent Nicolas Lapentti retired with an ankle injury. The Serb was leading 6-3, 3-1.

The fifth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina had little trouble in his first match at Roland Garros, beating Michael Llodra of France 6-3, 6-3, 6-1. Del Potro won four straight ATP titles last year, the first two on clay. Rainer Schuettler of Germany narrowly avoided a "triple bagel" after losing 6-0, 6-0, 6-4 to Marc Gicquel of France. On Friday, Schuettler had lost to Robin Soderling 6-0, 6-0 at the ATP World Team Championship in Germany. "A 'double bagel' is fine," said Schuettler, who reached the semi-finals at last year's Wimbledon. "I had one last week."

Late on Monday, Roger Federer was back on centre court and standing in a pile of the same red clay on which he has lost the last three French Open finals. This time, however, he looked comfortable. The second-seeded Swiss easily advanced to the second round by beating Alberto Martin of Spain 6-4, 6-3, 6-2, joining the four-time defending champion Rafael Nadal. "I didn't even think about last year's match on the same court, because I was so much concentrated," said Federer, who has 13 major titles to his name but none from the French Open.

* With agencies