Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 1st 2013 Contents PARIS---Miffed about the sched-
uling of matches at the French
Open, Rafael Nadal took the court
at 11 am yesterday lacking his usual
intensity, and it showed.
The seven-time champion had to
come from behind for the second
match in a row to beat Martin Klizan
4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.
Nadal criticised tournament
organisers for scheduling his match
with Klizan late on Thursday with
rain predicted. The forecast proved
correct, and the match was post-
poned a day, while Nadal s next
opponent---Fabio Fagnini---won ear-
lier Thursday and will have a day s
rest before their match today.
"That s not fair," Nadal said.
"Today I was playing almost three
hours on court, and my (next) oppo-
nent was watching the TV in the
Because the second-round match
against Klizan was postponed a day,
Nadal must win six matches in the
final 10 days of the tournament to
reclaim the trophy.
While Nadal s behind schedule
and unhappy about it, Roger Federer
and Serena Williams easily moved
into the fourth round. Defending
champion Maria Sharapova won a
rain-interrupted match to reach the
Entering the tournament, Nadal
had lost only 14 sets in 53 matches
at the French Open. Now he has
dropped the opening set in each of
the first two rounds.
When Klizan s final shot sailed
out, Nadal gave the cheering crowd
a relieved thumbs-up and managed
a weak smile. The Spaniard blamed
his patchy play on a lack of practice
time because of rain.
"That makes the things not easy,"
Nadal said. "So I started the match
probably with not the right intensity,
with more doubts than usual. The
positive thing was that I had a good
reaction at the beginning of the sec-
ond set. Even if I didn t play fan-
tastic, I played the way that I had
to play, with intensity, you know,
Nadal also lost the first set of his
opening match against Daniel Brands
and was down 3-0 in the second-
set tiebreaker before he rallied. Last
year lost one set in the entire tour-
nament en route to a record seventh
Roland Garros title.
Federer, seeded No 2, was broken
in the opening game but held the
rest of the way and eased into the
fourth round by beating No 30 Julien
Benneteau of France, 6-3, 6-4, 7-
5. Federer hit 31 winners with 21
unforced errors to eliminate Ben-
neteau, who had won when they
played at Rotterdam in February.
"I m able to play quite aggressive
at the moment," Federer said. "I
don t know if I can keep that up.
But the important thing is to keep
the errors somewhat low because
otherwise it s just silly aggressive-
ness. It has to be controlled aggres-
Federer seeks a record 18th Grand
Slam title, and his first since Wim-
bledon last year.
No 12 Tommy Haas became the
first 35-year-old since 2007 to reach
the French Open s third round, beat-
ing 20-year-old American qualifier
Jack Sock 7-6 (3), 6-2, 7-5.
Haas next plays No 19 John Isner,
who overcame a two-set deficit for
the first time to win an all-American
match against Ryan Harrison, 5-7,
6-7 (7), 6-3, 6-1, 8-6.
Isner is the last US man in the
field, because No 18 Sam Querrey
let a lead slip away in a 2-6, 6-3,
2-6, 7-6 (2), 6-2 loss to No. 15 Gilles
Simon of France in the third round.
Simon faces Federer next.
An American player left the
women s tournament when No 29
Varvara Lepchenko was eliminated
by No 8 Angelique Kerber of Ger-
many 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-4.
The No 1-ranked Williams, seek-
ing her first French Open title since
2002, beat Sorana Cirstea 6-0, 6-
2 and has lost only six games in
three matches. Williams swung hard,
as always, but committed only 16
unforced errors and extended her
career-best winning streak to 27
"I play very aggressive," she said.
"That s important for me, because
I want to keep on winning here."
Sharapova needed only 15 minutes
to close out a 6-2, 6-4 victory over
19-year-old Eugenie Bouchard. The
match was suspended on Thursday
night with Sharapova up a break in
the second set at 4-2, and she was
relieved to finish.
"It was such a long day yesterday,
and obviously it s always difficult
to have to come back," Sharapova
With a morning start on another
chilly, damp day in Paris, fans were
late arriving at Court Suzanne
Lenglen, which may have con-
tributed to Nadal s malaise. The
match was his first against the No.
35-ranked Klizan, and the slender
Slovak s aggressive left-handed
strokes from the baseline quickly
made an impression.
"Wow," Nadal exclaimed after one
winner by Klizan whizzed past.
Nadal s shots lacked their usual
depth and sting at the outset, and
he pushed a forehand wide at the
end of a long rally to lose serve for
the first time.
Klizan served out the set before
Nadal gained a foothold, racing to
a 4-0 lead in the second set.
Nadal swept the final eight points
of the third set to take command.
His groundstrokes started landing
beyond the service line more con-
sistently, and dogged defense helped
bail him out.
He said his annoyance about the
scheduling won t linger.
"When something like that hap-
pens, all we can do is just accept it,
try to be positive," he said. "Now is
not the time to be angry or to have
Now 54-1 at the French Open,
Nadal seeks to become first man to
win eight titles at the same Grand
Slam event. (AP)
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
DUBLIN---Bill Haas hit one shot he
thought might be out-of-bounds and he
walked off with a birdie. Tiger Woods
kept hitting fairways and rarely made bet-
ter than par. They finished 10 shots apart
yesterday at the Memorial.
Haas, who has never fared better than
30th at what he considers one of his fa-
vorite tournaments, handled a tough wind
and a crispy Muirfield Village for a 5-
under 67 that gave him a three-shot lead
among the early starters.
Woods missed only one fairway and
briefly flirted with the cut line until birdies
at the par 5s on the front nine gave him a
74. A five-time winner and the defending
champion, Woods had his worst 36-hole
score at the Memorial since he first
played this tournament in 1997.
Haas was at 9-under 135, three shots
clear of Matt Kuchar, who bogeyed his
last hole for a 70.
Only six players from the morning
round managed to break 70, a testament
to a course that is dry and fast, especially
on the greens. The wind was strong early
and showed no sign of letting up, even
after a 20-minute delay in the afternoon
as storms threatened.
The resurgent Robert Karlsson had a 71
and was five shots behind.
Charl Schwartzel, who opened with 10
birdies in his round of 65, was among
those playing in the afternoon. (AP)
Haas leads as Tiger falters at Memorial
Serena Williams of the US returns against
Sorana Cirstea of Romania in their third round
match at the French Open tennis tournament,
at Roland Garros stadium in Paris, yesterday.
Williams won in two sets 6-0, 6-2. AP PHOTO
Links Archive May 31st 2013 June 2nd 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page