Serena Survives Scare at French

  • May 26, 2009, 12:53 PM

PARIS (AP) -- Serena Williams struggled to close her match at a windy French Open on Tuesday, wasting eight match points before finally beating Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-4.

The second-seeded Williams was broken twice during the second set, including when she was serving for the match at 5-4. At 5-3 with Zakopalova serving, she had five match points but couldn't end it.

Zakopalova saved three more match points before holding to 5-3 in the third set, then broke Williams in the next game to get back on serve.

Williams completed her Serena Slam at the French Open in 2002, winning her fourth straight Grand Slam title. If she wins at Roland Garros this year, she'll have won three majors in a row after victories at the U.S. Open and the Australian Open. She reached the final at Wimbledon last year, but lost to big sister Venus in the final.

Jankovic dominates early

Jelena Jankovic dominated her opponent before a 2-hour rain delay Tuesday, and then did well enough after it to advance to the second round of the French Open by beating Petra Cetkovska of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-3.

The fifth-seeded Jankovic was leading 4-1 when the rain started at Roland Garros. She quickly closed out the first set when play resumed and continued to play well on Cetkovska's serve in the second but was broken twice on her own.

"I was controlling the points ... but then we had to stop because of the rain," Jankovic said. "I felt a little bit slow after the rain delay."

While serving for the match, Jankovic again struggled and was forced to save break points before finally winning.

"The serve was all right. I didn't go for too much," said Jankovic, who added the balls were heavier than usual because of the wet weather. "I just tried to have a high percentage."

Jankovic finished last season as the top-ranked player on the women's tour, but the 24-year-old Serb is still looking to win her first Grand Slam singles title after losing in the final of last year's U.S. Open.

Seventh-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova also advanced, defeating Claire Feuerstein of France 6-1, 6-4. The 2004 U.S. Open champion also dominated before the rain started falling, leading 5-1.

Djokovic advances after Lapentti retires

Novak Djokovic has advanced to the second round of the French Open after Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuador retires while trailing 6-3, 3-1 after injuring his left ankle.

Lapentti hurt his ankle while trailing 5-2 in the first set of Tuesday's match. He called for a trainer but then continued playing.

Djokovic has reached the semifinals at Roland Garros the past two years. He also won the 2008 Australian Open.

The fourth-seeded Djokovic won his fourth career title on clay at this month's Serbia Open.

Del Potro, Mofils move on

Fifth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina had little trouble in his opening match at Roland Garros, beating Michael Llodra of France 6-3, 6-3, 6-1. Del Potro won four straight ATP titles last year, the first two on clay.

No. 11 Gael Monfils of France also advanced, easily beating Bobby Reynolds of the United States 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 despite being hampered by a knee injury.

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