Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

French Open: Bartoli disappoints home fans in wide-open year

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 30: Marion Bartoli of France plays a backhand in her women's singles second round match against Petra Martic of Croatia during day four of the French Open at Roland Garros on May 30, 2012 in Paris, France. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

To find five different men who have won recent Grand Slam singles titles you have to go back to the start of 2005, when Marat Safin won the Australian Open.

Since then the honours have been shared by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro, who gatecrashed the big three's private party three years ago at the US Open.



To find five different women you need only go back to the start of last year. The last five titles have been won by Kim Clijsters, Li Na, Petra Kvitova, Sam Stosur and Victoria Azarenka. Serena Williams had been favourite to extend that sequence to six until her first-round defeat here by Virginie Razzano on Tuesday night.



Williams' exit has thrown the French Open wide open, but the hosts' wait for a winner looks likely to continue. Marion Bartoli, the world No 8 and a beaten semi-finalist last year, went down 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 to Croatia's Petra Martic, the world No 50. Stéphanie Foretz Gacon, the world No 86, is the next highest ranked Frenchwoman left in the tournament.



Azarenka, the world No 1, showed a marked improvement on her first-round performance, beating the German qualifier Dinah Pfizenmaier 6-1, 6-1, and afterwards expressed her sympathy for Williams. "I think in the women's game you have to be really ready right from the first match," she said. "That's how I have felt for the last few years, that every match is going to be difficult right from the beginning."



Agnieszka Radwanska, the world No 3, beat Venus Williams 6-2, 6-3, while Stosur, the runner-up two years ago, beat Irina Falconi 6-1, 6-4. Ana Ivanovic, the 2008 champion, continued her climb back towards the top, beating Shahar Peer 6-2, 6-2. In her previous two visits to Roland Garros, Ivanovic won only one match.



The leading two men in the top half of the draw also progressed. Djokovic was pushed hard by Slovenia's Blaz Kavcic before winning 6-0, 6-4, 6-4, while Federer failed to convert two match points in a third set tie-break before beating Romania's Adrian Ungur 6-3, 6-2, 6-7, 6-3.



With the Queen's Jubilee celebrations approaching, Federer was asked afterwards for his memories of meeting her at Wimbledon two years ago. The Swiss, who once said after meeting Diego Maradona that the World Cup winner "was almost more excited to meet me than I was to meet him", said the Queen had been "very sweet, very nice, very polite, of course, and just a pleasure to be around."



He explained: "I had lunch next to the Queen, with the Queen basically. So that was exciting by itself. Big honour, obviously, and the Club invited the Queen. Thank God she came. After over 30-plus years she came to the club."



French Open results



French Open, Roland Garros, Paris, France



Women's Singles second round (1) V Azarenka (Bela) bt D Pfizenmaier (Ger) 6-1 6-1; A Wozniak (Can) bt (31) J Zheng (Chin) 6-2 6-4; M Jose Martinez Sanchez (Sp) bt (20) L Safarova (Cz Rep) 6-4 7-5; (15) D Cibulkova (Slovak) bt V King (US) 6-0 6-2; S Stephens (US) bt B Mattek-Sands (US) 6-1 6-1; M Johansson (Fr) bt (24) P Cetkovska (Cz Rep) 7-6 (7-1) 6-2; (27) N Petrova (Rus) bt C Scheepers (SA) 6-3 6-3; (6) S Stosur (Aus) bt I Falconi (US) 6-1 6-4; (3) A Radwanska (Pol) bt V Williams (US) 6-2 6-3; (26) S Kuznetsova (Rus) bt Y Chan (Taipei) 6-4 7-6 (7-4); (21) S Errani (It) bt M Oudin (US) 6-2 6-3; (13) A Ivanovic (Serb) bt S Peer (Isr) 6-2 6-2; (18) F Pennetta (It) bt A Glatch (US) 6-3 6-1; (29) A Medina Garrigues (Sp) bt I Pavlovic (Fr) 6-3 6-2; P Martic (Croa) bt (8) M Bartoli (Fr) 6-2 3-6 6-3 .



Men's Singles second round (1) N Djokovic (Serb) bt B Kavcic (Sloven) 6-0 6-4 6-4; N Devild er (Fr) bt M Berrer (Ger) 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 6-2; (22) A Seppi (It) bt M Kukushkin (Kaz) 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 2-6 6-1 6-2; (14) F Verdasco (Sp) bt G Muller (Lux) 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-2 6-2; (11) G Simon (Fr) bt B Baker (US) 6-4 6-1 6-7 (4-7) 1-6 6-0; (18) S Wawrinka (Swit) bt P Andujar (Sp) 7-6 (7-3) 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 6-1; (3) R Federer (Swit) bt A Ungur (Rom) 6-3 6-2 6-7 (6-8) 6-3; L Kubot (Pol) bt F Serra (Fr) 7-6 (7-0) 6-2 7-6 (7-4); (9) J Martin Del Potro (Arg) bt E Roger-Vasselin (Fr) 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 6-4; (21) M Cilic (Croa) bt J Carlos Ferrero (Sp) 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 6-3; (31) K Anderson (SA) bt H Zeballos (Arg) 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-0; (7) T Berdych (Cz Rep) bt M Llodra (Fr) 6-2 6-3 6-3 .

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre