Djokovic made to sweat

Djokovic made to sweat

Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli did her best to lift the gloom hanging over a rainy Roland Garros on Tuesday after putting herself and the shivering home fans through agonies in a three-hour victory over Olga Govortsova.

The 13th seed scraped into the second round, clinching a 7-6(8), 4-6, 7-5 win on her fifth match point after producing groans from the Chatrier crowd when she double-faulted on her first.

On a day when heavy rain shortened the programme, the twitchy Bartoli, full of ticks and eccentric mannerisms, could have been accused of hogging the stage as she made men's world number one Novak Djokovic wait for his grand entrance.

Djokovic showed glimpses of frailty along with his usual ruthless streak when he moved into the second round with a 7-6(5) 6-4 7-5 win over Belgium's David Goffin.

After emerging into the early evening gloom, he encountered a talented shot-maker on the other side of the net.

Djokovic came through the first set tie-break thanks in part to the raucous Parisian crowd, whose efforts to inspire his young opponent with an ill-timed shout of "Allez David" at 5-5 on his second serve caused the world number 58 to double fault.

There was a battling quality about Goffin, who managed to break the Serb's serve in the second set and had a break point in the third before succumbing to the six-times grand slam winner.

The Paris was elated as the French number one Bartoli battled back from 5-3 down in the decider to move through to round two, saving two match points in the process.

"It shows that from a physical and mental perspective I've got the legs for three hours," Bartoli told reporters.

"But to be honest with you, I'd prefer to have won in two straight sets in an hour, but my opponent puts me on my back foot over such a long match.

"And to show at the end of the day that I managed to ramp up a gear and to show that I wasn't tired at all, that's very encouraging for the rest of the season."

Bartoli's victory actually took most of the afternoon because after a rain-delayed start she moved a set and a break ahead before being forced off by yet more showers.

Having started at lunchtime, it was around 1830 local time when Bartoli finally left the stage. There was no doubting the entertainment value, though.

Going through her full repertoire of baseline shadow boxing in between points, swishing her racket at an invisible ball, Bartoli cuts a comical figure at times.

Occasionally she glared towards her father and coach Walter, whom she banished from the crowd during one of her Wimbledon matches in 2011, at other times she punched the air.

All the expended energy looked to have been futile when Belarussian Govortsova began pinning Bartoli into the corners with some heavy hitting, usually accompanied by loud moans and grunts.

42-year-old Japanese player Kimiko Date-Krumm showed her age in a 6-0, 6-2 defeat by Australian ninth seed Samantha Stosur.

Date-Krumm, who made her French Open debut 24 years ago in 1989 when 57 women in this year’s singles draw were not even born, lasted only 64 minutes on Court One.

"I guess, lucky for me I was able to finish the match before this last downpour came," Stosur, runner-up in 2010, told reporters.


Results: First round (prefix denotes seeding): Men’s singles: 1-Novak Djokovic (Srb) bt David Goffin (Bel) 7-6(5), 6-4, 7-5; 16-Philipp Kohlschreiber (Ger) bt Jiri Vesely (Cze) 7-6 (3), 1-6, 7-5, 6-2; Denis Istomin (Uzb) bt 28-Florian Mayer (Ger) 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, 0-0 (Mayer retired); Lu Yen-Hsun (Tai) bt Simone Bolelli (Ita) 6-4, 6-4, 2-1 (Bolelli retired); 29-Mikhail Youzhny (Rus) bt Pablo Andujar (Esp) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-3; Nikolay Davydenko (Rus) bt Florent Serra (Fra) 6-3, 6-4, 7-5; Federico Delbonis (Arg) bt Julian Reister (Ger) 6-7 (2-7), 6-1, 6-0, 6-4; Dmitry Tursunov (Rus) bt 22-Alexandr Dolgopolov (Ukr) 7-6 (9-7), 6-4, 7-6 (9-7); Jack Sock (US) bt Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (Esp) 6-2, 6-2, 7-5; Lucas Pouille (Fra) bt Alex Kuznetsov (US) 6-1, 7-6 (7-2), 6-2; 12-Tommy Haas (Ger) bt Guillaume Rufin (Fra) 7-6 (7-4), 6-1, 6-3; Victor Hanescu (Rom) bt Bernard Tomic (Aus) 7-5, 7-6 (10-8), 2-1 (retd); 26-Grigor Dimitrov (Blg) bt Alejandro Falla (Col) 6-4, 1-0 (retd).

Women’s singles: Marina Erakovic (NZ) bt Elena Baltacha (Bri) 6-3, 6-0; 16-Dominika Cibulkova (Slk) bt Lesia Tsurenko (Ukr) 6-1, 6-4; Kristina Mladenovic (Fra) bt Lauren Davis (US) 6-0, 7-5; Silvia Soler Espinosa (Esp) bt Irina Begu (Rom) 6-3, 6-2; 31-Alize Cornet (Fra) bt Maria Joao Koehler (Por) 7-5, 6-2; 13-Marion Bartoli (Fra) bt Olga Govortsova (Bel) 7-6 (8), 4-6, 7-5; 18-Jelena Jankovic (Srb) bt Daniela Hantuchova (Svk) 6-4, 7-6 (9-7); 27-Yaroslava Shvedova (Kaz) bt Coco Vandeweghe (US) 6-0, 3-6, 6-2; 9-Samantha Stosur (Aus) bt Kimiko Date-Krumm (Jpn) 6-0, 6-2; Mariana Duque (Col) bt Kristyna Pliskova (Cze) 6-2, 6-0.

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