TENNIS / Djokovic, Azarenka, Stosur and Jankovic make it to the third round
Former champion Li Na crashed out of Roland Garros on Thursday losing 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 to Bethanie Mattek-Sands in a second round tie badly disrupted by rain.
When play resumed, men’s top seed Novak Djokovic advanced in quick time dismissing Guido Pella 6-2, 6-0, 6-2.
The World No. 1 had the stronger weapons and pushed his opponent on to the back foot with his superior courtcraft in a match that lasted just one hour and 26 minutes.
After the players traded blows at the start of the match, Djokovic won 11 games in a row, taking the first and second sets.
The crowd rose in unison to applaud the 101st-ranked Pella when he won a game in the second game of the third set but it was a short-lived reprieve as the Serb closed the match out.
Third seed Victoria Azarenka also reached the third round with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Germany's Annika Beck.
This is the 2011 champion Li’s earliest loss in the tournament in seven appearances, and wrecked her hopes of a second straight Grand Slam final appearance after Australia in January.
As she did in the first round against Anabel Medina Garrigues, sixth-seeded Li got off to a strong start winning the first four games before the stocky American rallied to win the next four.
Mattek-Sands then promptly undid all her hard work with a poor service game at 5-5 and Li took full advantage to take the opening set.
With dark clouds hovering over Court 1, Mattek-Sands broke early in the second set to lead 4-1 before the rain came down to suspend play for one hour 45 minutes.
They made a brief reappearance for 10 minutes during which Li pulled back to 4-3 with her serve to come before they were sent scurrying for cover once again as the heavens opened. Another 90 minutes transpired before further play was possible and on the resumption, Mattek-Sands levelled the set scores by winning the next two games.
That appeared to sap all the confidence out of Li and she meekly surrendered the deciding set as the rain started to fall once again.
Twelve on the trot
Former No.1 Jelena Jankovic won 12 consecutive games to beat Garbine Muguruza — and the rain — in her second round match. Jankovic fell behind early but rallied past Muguruza 6-3, 6-0 shortly before showers interrupted the first matches of the day on 12 other courts.
A brief dry spell allowed 2010 runner-up Sam Stosur to complete a 6-4, 6-3 second-round victory over Kristina Mladenovic before the rains resumed.
With the cool midday temperatures, Jankovic took the court wearing pink leggings and a long-sleeve pink shirt. She looked uncomfortable at the start, losing the first three games, but then got on a roll after adjusting to the pace from Muguruza, a 19-year-old Spaniard. Jankovic won with steady play from the baseline, while the big-swinging Muguruza committed 29 unforced errors.
Jankovic, seeded 18th, is a three-time semifinalist at Roland Garros. She next play 2011 U.S. Open champion Stosur.
The Australian ninth seed never lost serve but needed nearly an hour to take the first set against Mladenovic.
Stosur reached set point for the fourth time on a fluky point with her opponent at the net, hitting a line-drive reflex volley that Mladenovic had ducking to avoid.
The ball kissed the baseline for a winner, and Stosur waved in apology to Mladenovic.
On the men’s side, No.16 Philipp Kohlschreiber moved into the third round when Yen-Hsun Lu withdrew because of a right ankle injury.
Victor Hanescu advanced when Dmitry Tursunov retired trailing 6-4, 6-6(3).