Radwanska Beats Williams at French Open as Federer Sets Record
Radwanska, the third seed from Poland, won 6-2, 6-3 over seven-time major winner Williams. The loss comes a day after Serena Williams, the No. 5 seed, was beaten in the opening round by France’s Virginie Razzano. It marked the first time the sisters both failed to reach the third round in a major tournament they’d entered.
“She played really well, she chased down a lot of shots and that’s what you have to do on this surface,” Venus Williams said at a news conference. “Unfortunately, I wasn’t at my best today.”
Top seeds Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka advanced in straight sets before play at Roland Garros in Paris was suspended by rain about 8 p.m. local time with four singles matches still in progress.
Federer defeated Romania’s Adrian Ungur 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (6- 8), 6-3 to overtake Jimmy Connors for most wins at major tournaments. The third-seed is looking to extend his record of Grand Slam titles to 17 with his second victory in Paris.
“Because I have been around for so long I expect myself to win, I can still manage to do that,” Federer told reporters. “Whereas in the beginning when you think you’re good but you’re maybe not that good yet, you get many more surprise losses.”
Radwanska dominated Williams in the hour-long match on the main Court Philippe Chatrier. The 23-year-old converted all four of her break chances and made just six unforced errors, compared with 33 unforced errors and 17 winners for the American.
“I’m happy I played a good match from the start,” Radwanska told reporters. “She was fighting until the end.”
Williams, 31, was playing her first major since being diagnosed last year with Sjogren’s syndrome, an energy-sapping autoimmune disease that left her barely able to lift her arms.
The Williams sisters, who’ve combined for 20 major singles titles, have twice both lost in the third round at the French Open, in 2004 and 2008.
Djokovic beat Slovenia’s Blaz Kavcic 6-0, 6-4, 6-4 to run his Grand Slam winning streak to 23 matches. The Serb is attempting to become the first man to hold all four major titles at the same time since Rod Laver in 1969.
“I’m happy with the game overall,” Djokovic said at a news conference. “I think everything was working really well. I’m feeling better and better every match.”
Azarenka of Belarus beat German qualifier Dinah Pfizenmaier 6-1, 6-1 in 55 minutes. That contrasted her three-set win over Italy’s Alberta Brianti two days ago, when she was two games away from becoming the first top-seeded female to lose her opening match at the French.
“It was a different game,” Azarenka, who won the Australian Open in January, said in a news conference. “Definitely played much better today.”
Women’s eighth seed Marion Bartoli of France lost to Croatia’s Petra Martic in three sets, while Ana Ivanovic, the 2008 French winner seeded 13th; U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur of Australia, the sixth seed; No. 15 Dominika Cibulkova and No. 21 Sara Errani all advanced.
Sloane Stephens was the only one of the seven U.S. women in action today to advance after a 6-1, 6-1 win over countrywoman Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Ten Americans reached the women’s second round, the most at the French Open in nine years.
France’s Gilles Simon, the 11th seed, beat American wild card Brian Baker in five sets to join No. 7 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic and No. 9 Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina in the third round.
To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at firstname.lastname@example.org.