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Watertight Djokovic stays on course, Li sinks
May 30, 2013 / 6:53 PM / 5 years ago

Watertight Djokovic stays on course, Li sinks

PARIS (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic had a simple solution to the rain showers that continued to play havoc at Roland Garros on Thursday - win quickly - but the weather got into the works of former women’s champion Li Na as she was bundled out at a soggy Roland Garros.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts after defeating Guido Pella of Argentina in their men's singles match during the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris May 30, 2013. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

World number one Djokovic needed just an hour and 26 minutes to dispose of Argentina’s Guido Pella, winning 6-2 6-0 6-2 to reach the third round after a long wait to get on court.

China’s Li, winner in 2011, was bundled out by American Bethanie Mattek-Sands, a player whose grand slam appearances are usually memorable more for her outlandish outfits.

Sixth seed Li was twice forced off court during lengthy rain delays and when the third instalment of the match began she lost seven games in a row during a 5-7 6-3 6-2 defeat.

Slate grey clouds hung over Roland Garros for much of the day with tournament organisers forced to cancel matches for the second time in three days.

Four second round ties will now be played on Friday when the third round is scheduled to start.

Former runner-up Samantha Stosur of Australia needed two periods of play on Chatrier Court to get past plucky Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic 6-4 6-3.

Djokovic was also interrupted in mid-flow, although such was his dominance of 23-year-old Pella, ranked 101st in the world, that his opponent could have been excused for opting to remain in the locker room after yet another shower moved away.

After some closely fought rallies early on, Djokovic, trying to complete his career grand slam here after falling in the final last year to Rafa Nadal, decided enough was enough.

Placing the ball almost at will in the corners, he carved through the next 11 games, showing no mercy with the threat of further rain lurking on the Parisian skyline.

Djokovic will face more of a test in the third round where he will face 26th seed Grigor Dimitrov who became the first Bulgarian man to reach that stage of a grand slam since tennis turned professional in 1968.

Dimitrov, who stunned Djokovic in Madrid this year, put out French wildcard Lucas Pouille 6-1 7-6 6-1, ending the run of the last remaining teenager in the men’s draw.

Defending men’s champion Rafa Nadal and women’s champion Maria Sharapova were both hoping to squeeze in their second round matches later or face a complicated route ahead.

Stosur will next face 18th seed Jelena Jankovic in a repeat of their 2010 semi-final after the Serbian won 12 successive games to beat Spain’s Garbine Muguruza 6-3 6-0.

Editing by John Mehaffey

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