7th APRIL 2015 - Vol.XXXVIII No.018
Sports News


PARIS: Novak Djokovic had a simple solution to the rain showers that continued to play havoc at the French Open yesterday.

The world number one needed just an hour and 26 minutes to thrash Argentina's Guido Pella 6-2 6-0 6-2 to reach the third round after a lengthy wait to get on court.

There was only frustration and lots of twiddling of thumbs, however, for defending champion Rafa Nadal.

Nadal got no further than the locker room after his second round against Slovakia's Martin Klizan was one of 10 singles matches cancelled.

Nadal has not played since being given a fright by Daniel Brands on Monday and is in danger of going rusty before he continues his quest for an eighth French Open title.

Fortune has not been kind to the Spaniard so far, offering up an inspired Brands and a rain-soaked schedule that means he lags a round behind likely semi-final opponent Djokovic and faces the prospect of six matches in 10 days.

Nine third-round berths are still up for grabs in the top half of the men's draw - a stark contrast to the bottom half occupied by Roger Federer where the line-up is complete.

Djokovic was 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 early rallies, Djokovic, trying to complete his career grand slam after losing in the final last year to Nadal, decided enough was enough.

With so many second-round matches held over, at least Djokovic knows who he will be up against in the third round after Grigor Dimitrov beat French teenage wildcard Lucas Pouille 6-1, 7-6 (4), 6-1.

click on image to view the digital edition