PARIS: Rain wreaked havoc with Thursday’s schedule at the French Open but the gloomy weather broke for long enough to see former champion Ana Ivanovic and veteran Japanese Kimiko Date Krumm exit the tournament.
Persistent rain started to batter the Roland Garros venue a matter of minutes before the scheduled 10 am BST start and only relented after a near five-hour delay. Six singles matches, including those of four-times champion Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams, were cancelled while 16 doubles contests were also forced to be rescheduled.
Around 90 minutes of play were possible mid-afternoon during which time Ivanovic, the 2008 champion now ranked 42, looked a shadow of her former sparkling self in a 6-3, 6-0 defeat by Russian 28th seed Alisa Kleybanova.
The 22-year-old Serb, whose career has nose-dived alarmingly since winning the title here in 2008, looked almost apologetic at times during a humbling 6-3 6-0 loss to ruthless Russian Alisa Kleybanova in 66 minutes.
At 39, Date Krumm became the second oldest women’s player to win a singles match here with her first-round triumph over last year’s runner-up Dinara Safina but her challenge ran out of steam in a 6-0, 6-3 rout by Australia’s Jarmila Groth.
Five women’s singles matches were completed during the brief respite from the weather. Serbian fourth seed Jelena Jankovic was tied up 1-1 in the deciding set against Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi when the covers were rushed on once again.
Murray waits on showers
British fourth seed Andy Murray had time for only more game before the rain returned. Juan Ignacio Chela currently holds serve for a 4-3 lead in the second set after the Scot had clinched the opener in Wednesday night’s gloom.
American sixth seed Andy Roddick was a set up and tied at 5-5 in the second against Slovenia’s Blaz Kavcic on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 28th, 2010.