Roddick reaches 3rd round at rainy Roland Garros
PARIS (AP) – Maybe this is progress for Andy Roddick on clay: He lost serve seven times Thursday and still won.
On a rainy, chilly day at Roland Garros, Roddick endured two delays and difficult conditions to defeat Blaz Kavcic 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.
The damp weather took some zip off Roddick’s biggest weapon, and for much of the match he was dueling from the baseline on his worst surface. But Roddick has become a more patient player in recent months, and he willingly settled into rallies that often lasted more than two dozen shots.
“It was brutal for me out there,” he said. “I couldn’t get my serve to go anywhere, and the ball was just sitting up. It kind of takes away a lot of shots and it makes it just about hitting the ball and running. …
“I don’t know the last time I lost serve seven times and won. So, I mean, it’s bad, but there’s got to be something good in there somewhere, too.”
Roddick hadn’t played a match on clay this year when he arrived in Paris, but he’s now above .500 lifetime at Roland Garros – 9-8.
Ana Ivanovic hit another low in her slide since winning the French Open two years ago, losing in the second round to No. 28 Alisa Kleybanova 6-3, 6-0.
A former No. 1 player, Ivanovic was unseeded because she’s ranked only 42nd. The defeat marked her earliest exit in six trips to the French Open.
“It was a combination of a few things,” Ivanovic said. “I don’t think I played that bad, actually. For a while, I think she didn’t miss a ball at all.”
The match lasted barely an hour – brief enough to be completed between showers. Play was delayed for 4 1/2 hours at the start, and there were two later interruptions.
In other women’s matches, No. 4-seeded Jelena Jankovic, No. 5 Elena Dementieva and No. 11 Li Na won, while 39-year-old Kimiko Date Krumm lost to Jarmila Groth 6-0, 6-3.
Date Krumm became the oldest woman since 1985 to reach the second round when she upset former No. 1 Dinara Safina, the runner-up in 2008 and 2009.
Three seeded women lost: No. 8 Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 21 Vera Zvonareva and No. 32 Kateryna Bondarenko.
Radwanska was upset by Yaroslava Shvedova 7-5, 6-3. Zvonareva lost to Anastasia Rodionova 6-4, 6-4. Bondarenko was beaten by Aleksandra Wozniak 6-4, 6-1.
On the men’s side, No. 4 Andy Murray beat Juan Ignacio Chela 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2. American John Isner, seeded 17th, hit 38 aces and defeated Marco Chiudinelli 6-7 (3), 7-6 (3), 7-6 (7), 6-4.
The only seeded man to lose was No. 13 Gael Monfils, who lost to Fabio Fognini 2-6, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4, 9-7. The match had been suspended because of darkness Wednesday at 5-all in the fifth set.
Sixteen singles matches were postponed, including those involving Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams, meaning they won’t play their second-round matches until at least Friday – the sixth day of the tournament. Nadal faces Horacio Zeballos, Djokovic plays Kei Nishikori, and Williams takes on Julia Goerges.
Twenty doubles matches were also postponed. Five singles matches were suspended because of darkness, with four-time champion Justine Henin and Maria Sharapova leading in the second set of their matches.
Roddick’s match looked like a mismatch on paper – the 112th-ranked Kavcic has won a single tour-level match this year – but the weather and clay were equalizers.
The No. 6-seeded Roddick lost 48 points serving, but despite his trouble holding, he seemed in control when he broke for a 4-3 lead in the second set. He promptly gave the break back, and rain halted play with Kavcic serving at 5-all, love-15.
When the match resumed nearly an hour later, Roddick lost eight consecutive points and the set to even the match.
As Roddick’s mood soured, he snapped at the umpire and at Kavcic.
“That’s a horrible read,” he said after the umpire rejected his appeal on a line call. “I know how to look at a mark and read it.”
The crowd jeered Roddick.
During later disputes about two marks in the same game, Roddick and Kavcic exchanged words.
“Don’t get upset with me when you just checked that one,” Roddick said.
Kavcic said his opponent seemed nervous.
“He’s like this all the time, I think – when something goes wrong, he’s trying to put the anger on somebody else, not himself,” Kavcic said. “This was nothing bad for me. Maybe he was a little bit angry at me because I was fighting like crazy. That’s his problem.”
But Roddick displayed plenty of patience at the baseline, as he mixed drop shots and lobs with conservative groundstrokes.
A rally that put him up a break in the fourth set lasted 39 shots and left a weary Kavcic bent over. The fresher-looking Roddick swept the final four games.
“I’ve lost a lot matches out there on conditions exactly like today,” Roddick said. “That was one that might have gotten away from me a while ago, but I was just kind of staying the course.”
Ivanovic made less than half her first serves against Kleybanova, including only 35 percent in the second set, and won just 17 service points while double-faulting seven times. The Serb is 10-10 this year and has won a total of two matches in the past three Grand Slam tournaments.
Last winter she hired Steffi Graf’s old coach, Heinz Gunthardt, and said she has since made progress.
“It’s going to take some time for it to become a pattern and just being used to competing again at that high level against top players,” Ivanovic said. “Some days it might be there; some days might not. No doubt I’m on the right way.”
Kleybanova advanced to the third round for the first time.