Federer, Nadal advance after righting slow starts

Friday, May 30, 2008

PARIS -- Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal showed what they can do when challenged.

The two highest-seeded men at the French Open had tougher-than-expected first sets Thursday, and both responded by reeling off game after game to move into the third round.

Although Federer wasn't broken, he lost the first set in a tiebreaker before beating Albert Montanes of Spain 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-0, 6-4. Nadal faced a close call in the first set, but the three-time defending champion still beat Nicolas Devilder of France 6-4, 6-0, 6-1.

"It was tough going down a set, but reaction was good and bounced back strong," Federer said. "Played really well after that."

Seventh-seeded James Blake lost to 19-year-old Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 7-6 (2), 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, and sixth-seeded David Nalbandian was upset by Jeremy Chardy of France 3-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 6-2.

"I wasn't going for the shots the way I normally do," Blake said.

In a pair of routs, No. 5 David Ferrer beat Fabrice Sabtoro of France 6-0, 6-1, 6-0, and No. 16 Victoria Azarenka defeated Sorana-Mihaela Cirstea 6-0, 6-0.

Venus Williams and Jelena Jankovic reached the third round, one easing through her match and the other playing through pain.

The eighth-seeded Williams used a six-game run to beat 241st-ranked qualifier Selima Sfar of Tunisia 6-2, 6-4. Jankovic, seeded third and a semifinalist at Roland Garros last year, was bothered by a right arm injury but defeated Marina Erakovic of New Zealand 6-2, 7-6 (5).

Amelie Mauresmo, a two-time Grand Slam champion seeded 22nd, lost to Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-3, 6-4.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: