Two-time defending champion Rafael Nadal was never troubled in
the second round of the French Open as he claimed his second
consecutive straight-set win over Italian qualifier Flavio Cipolla
No. 14 seed Lleyton Hewitt had a much tougher battle as he
clawed back from two sets down to defeat 2004 Roland Garros
champion Gaston Gaudio of Argentina 4-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.
"He must be one of the toughest second-round players to play.
Plus at the moment you just don't know really what you're going to
get from him," said the former world number one.
Hewitt, who reached the semifinals of Masters Series event in
Hamburg and nearly knocked off Nadal, will be facing the 20th seed
Jarkko Nieminen from Finland.
Nadal, whose record 81-match winning streak on clay was just
ended by Roger Federer at the Hamburg Masters final, will next meet
countryman Albert Montanes.
"He was a bit nervous and he made mistakes. It was not a match
where I can be able to play my best tennis, but what is very
positive today was warming up," said Nadal, who wrapped up the 6-2,
6-1, 6-4 victory with a forehand winner.
"As days go on, you feel more nervous, but everything was
Novak Djokovic, who remained fully fired-up into this season,
looked on course for a third round place when he was a set up and
notched up an early break in the second, but only to find an
unexpected charge from French qualifier Laurent Recouderc, who
fought with a five-game streak to capture that second set. The
6th-seeded Serb then overcame the hiccup to close the match and
moved into the next round.
"I was skeptical in the start, because I didn't know anything
about him, and the first set was going pretty well, but in the
second I just suddenly stopped and made a couple of mistakes and I
let him into the match," Djokovic said.
"In the third set I was very nervous but I'm happy I managed to
calm down and just figure out what to do and try to be
"I managed to win in the end, and that's the most important
thing," added Djokovic, who lost to eventual champion Nadal in last
Djokovic, who is playing his first Grand Slam event as one of
the world's top 10, converted on one of his two break chances in
the third set and on three more in the fourth set en route to the
6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory over the Frenchman.
"Everybody expects me to be one of the guys who can actually
hurt the best two players in the world, and I'm aware of that,
there's a lot of expectations and lot of pressure, but I am trying
not to think about it too much," the Serb continued.
"I'm not so happy with my first two performances here but I
cannot just look at the negative things. The positive thing is that
I won two matches. I'll do my best to start playing better."
Marcos Baghdatis, the 16th seed, also had trouble at some moment
but took his match in straight sets 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 over Denmark's
Having already reached the final of the Australian Open and the
semifinals of Wimbledon, the Cypriot hopes to make a deep run in
"I really feel at home, because I've been living here for eight
years," Baghdatis said. "I speak the language and I know Paris so
well. It's really nice."
Seventh-seeded Croatian Ivan Ljubicic, who reached his first
Grand Slam semifinal here at Roland Garros last year, advanced to
the third round as he claimed a 6-4, 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-3 win over
Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka in their match that was postponed due to
darkness on Wednesday.
There was also second round win for 1998 champion Carlos Moya,
who made short work of Frenchman Florent Serra 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.
Twelfth seed David Ferrer was another Spaniard to progress when
he did not have much trouble in defeating Argentine Diego Hartfield
6-4, 6-3, 7-6(4).
(Xinhua News Agency June 1, 2007)