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Tennis

Rain stops Roland Garros play for three hours on opening day

Petra Kvitova needed three sets to advance to round two of the 2016 French Open.
Petra Kvitova needed three sets to advance to round two of the 2016 French Open. Reuters/Pascal Rossignol

Rain played havoc with the schedule during Sunday's opening day of the 2016 French Open. Sixteen matches were postponed in Paris as the weather forced players to take shelter for more than a three hours.

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Of the matches that were concluded, in the men's draw, the fast rising Australian Nick Kyrgios advanced to the second round in straight sets. The 17th seed was too solid at the key moments for the unseeded Italian Marco Cecchinato.

Home crowds got a boost via the 19th seed Benoit Paire. He emerged the victor in a see-saw five setter with the unseeded Moldavan Radu Albot.

The big serving American Jack Sock will also need five sets if he is to progress to the second round. The 23rd seed's match with the Dutch veteran Robin Haase was stopped on Sunday night due to the rain with the men about to start the decider.

In the women's draw, it looked done and dusted for the10th seed Petra Kvitova. The 26-year-old Czech was a set and 3-0 up in the second set against Danka Kovinic from Montenegro.

But from that position of strength, the two time Wimbledon champion unravelled. She lost the second set 6-4 and struggled throughout the final set too. Kovinic served for a place in the second round while leading 5-4 but fluffed her lines. Reprieved, Kvitova finally remembered that she has won grand slam titles and powered on past her deflated opponent to take the decider 7-5.

If the heavens are kind on Monday, Stan Wawrinka will start the defence of his title against the unseeded Czech Lukas Rosol.

Another Czech, Radek Stepanek, should technically also be cannon fodder. The 37-year-old is up against the second seed Andy Murray. The Briton has won six of their eight encounters. But their most recent meeting earlier this month in the last 32 of the Madrid Masters was far from plain sailing for the ultimately victorious Murray. The wily veteran took him to three sets with his offbeat brand of serve and volley and niggly angles.

The Czechs should bite the dust on day two. But, of course, that depends on the weather gods. And the quirks of competition.

 

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