Federer moves up as Acasuso fritters away a golden chance

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LOOKING GOOD: Caroline Wozniacki, the tenth seed, rode her recent superb form in easily despatching Jill Craybas.
LOOKING GOOD: Caroline Wozniacki, the tenth seed, rode her recent superb form in easily despatching Jill Craybas.

Close shave for Venus Williams; Paes & Dlouhy pair makes next round

PARIS: Roger Federer survived a second round scare on Thursday when Argentine Jose Acasuso threw away a golden opportunity to cause a major Roland Garros sensation.

The World No.2 claimed a 7-6(8), 5-7, 7-6(2), 6-2 win but Acasuso was left to regret wasting four set points in the opening set and another in the third where he twice served for a 2-1 lead.

Acasuso, who has progressed beyond the second round of a Grand Slam only once in 28 attempts, cut a weary figure by the end.

Federer, the runner-up to Rafael Nadal here for the past three years, still misses a title here from his 13-title Grand Slam collection.

Trading breaks

Acasuso broke first to lead 4-2 before Federer immediately hit back.

The Argentine then squandered four set points in the first set tiebreaker and Federer made him pay when he secured the opener with a deft drop shot.

Despite going a break down early in the second set, Acasuso roared back in the third and nipped ahead to 6-5.

He levelled the tie when he drove deep with a crunching forehand which Federer could only push back into the base of the net.

Breaks in the first and third games of the third set gave Acasuso a 4-0 lead although his movement became affected when he twisted his right ankle trying to stretch to a Federer pass in the fifth game.

Acasuso wasted a set point in the eighth game as Federer sped from 1-5 down to 6-5 in front before the South American stopped the rot to take the set into another tiebreaker.

Cruises home

Federer cruised through that and then the fourth set against a shattered Acasuso to keep his Roland Garros campaign on track.

Argentine fifth seed Juan Martin Del Potro, Russian 10th seed Nikolay Davydenko, twice a semifinalist, and Spanish 16th seed Tommy Robredo all went through to the third round.

Venus Williams, the American third seed, who was runner-up to sister Serena in 2002, but had exited at the third round in the last two years, saved a match point in her 6-7(5), 6-2, 7-5 win over the Czech Republic’s Lucie Safarova.

The Wimbledon champion had been trailing by a set when the players had been called off court late Wednesday, but she quickly levelled the tie on the resumption.

Bartoli loses

Former Wimbledon finalist Bartoli was a second round casualty losing 6-3, 7-5 to experienced Italian Tathiana Garbin.

Serbian fifth seed Jelena Jankovic, a semifinalist in the last two years and who lunched with Serbian President Boris Tadic on Wednesday, feasted on the meek resistance of Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova with an easy 6-1, 6-2 win.

Jankovic will next face Slovakian-born Jarmila Groth, who now plays for Australia.

The 24-year-old Jankovic, who won the Marbella claycourt event in the run-up to Roland Garros, believes weight loss is helping to rejuvenate her game which took her to the World No.1 spot last year.

Late on Wednesday, Leander Paes and Lukas Dlouhy, the third seeds, began their Roland Garrros campaign with a fairly facile 6-1, 6-3 win over Frenchmen Sebastien de Chaunac and Benoit Paire. — Agencies


Prefix denotes seedings

Men: Second round: 2-Roger Federer (Sui) bt Jose Acasuso (Arg) 7-6(8), 5-7, 7-6(2), 6-2; 25-Igor Andreev (Rus) bt Martin Vassalo Arguello (Esp) 1-6, 5-7, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4; 10-Nikolay Davydenko (Rus) bt Diego Junqueira (Arg) 4-6, 6-3, 6-0, 6-2; Maximo Gonzalez (Arg) bt Andreas Seppi (Ita) 7-6(8), 6-3, 6-3.

Jeremy Chardy (Fra) bt Simone Bolelli (Ita) 6-2, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-1; 5-Juan Martin del Potro (Arg) bt Viktor Troicki (Srb) 6-3, 7-5, 6-0; 16-Tommy Robredo (Esp) bt Daniel Gimeno Traver (Esp) 6-4, 6-4, 6-3; 18-Radek Stepanek (Cze) bt Mathieu Montcourt (Fra) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4; 1-Rafael Nadal (Esp) bt Teimuraz Gabashvili (Rus) 6-1, 6-4, 6-2; Lleyton Hewitt (Aus) bt Andrey Golubev (Kaz) 6-4, 6-3, 6-1; 14-David Ferrer (Esp) bt Nicolas Kiefer (Ger) 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.

Josselin Ouanna (Fra) bt 20-Marat Safin (Rus) 7-6(2), 7-6(4), 4-6, 3-6, 10-8; 23-Robin Soderling (Swe) bt Denis Istomin (Uzb) 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-4; Doubles: First round: 3-Lukas Dlouhy (Cze) & Leander Paes (Ind) bt Sebastien de Chaunac & Benoit Paire (Fra) 6-1, 6-3.

Women: Second round: 3-Venus Williams (USA) bt Lucie Safarova (Cze) 6-7(5), 6-2, 7-5; 10-Caroline Wozniacki (Den) bt Jill Craybas (USA) 6-1, 6-4; Lourdes Dominguez Lino (Esp) bt Alexa Glatch (USA) 7-6(0), 7-5; Jarmila Groth (Svk) bt Mariana Duque (Col) 6-2, 7-6(9).

Tathiana Garbin (Ita) bt 13-Marion Bartoli (Fra) 6-3, 7-5; 5-Jelena Jankovic (Srb) bt Magdalena Rybarikova (Svk) 6-1, 6-2; 24-Aleksandra Wozniak (Can) bt Petra Martic (Cro) 6-3, 6-3; 7-Svetlana Kuznetsova (Rus) bt Galina Voskoboeva (Kaz) 6-0, 6-2; Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (Esp) bt Viktoriya Kutuzova (Ukr) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3; Melinda Czink (Hun) bt 28-Sybille Bammer (Aut) 4-6, 6-3, 10-8; Sorana Cirstea (Rou) bt 21-Alize Cornet (Fra) 6-3, 6-2.

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