Nadal Joins Sharapova in Taking Rain-Delayed French Open Matches

Defending champions Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova won rain-delayed second-round matches at the French Open and will play third-round opponents today.

Nadal beat Martin Klizan of Slovakia 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 yesterday, while Sharapova returned to complete a 6-2, 6-4 win against Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard after their match was suspended in the second set at Roland Garros in Paris.

Nadal, the men’s third seed from Spain, will play No. 27 Fabio Fognini of Italy today. Sharapova, a Russian seeded second among the women, will face Zheng Jie of China.

Serena Williams and Roger Federer moved into the fourth round yesterday with straight-set wins. Williams, the women’s top seed, beat Romania’s Sorana Cirstea 6-0, 6-2. Federer, the men’s No. 2 seed from Switzerland, won 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 against France’s Julien Benneteau, who was slowed by a leg injury.

“I could tell right away after a game or two that it wasn’t the same Benneteau across the net,” Federer said at a news conference. “I kind of knew I had always some cushion in there. And so it wasn’t that test I was expecting today.”

Williams, of the U.S., needed just 61 minutes to beat the 26th-seeded Cirstea. The 15-time Grand Slam champion, who won her only French Open title in 2002, took 29 points off Cirstea’s serve in extending her winning streak to 27 matches.

“I don’t think it’s about a winning streak,” Williams said. “I think it’s about winning important matches and winning the right matches at the right time.”

Federer, seeking his 18th major title, had seven aces and hit almost three times as many winners as Benneteau, who also made 31 unforced errors. The Swiss right-hander next will face No. 15 Gilles Simon of France, who won the final two sets of a five-set match with No. 18 Sam Querrey of the U.S.

Extra Day

Nadal, the seven-time French Open champion, had to wait an extra day to play his second-round match because of rain.

After dropping the first set for the second straight match, the Spaniard broke Klizan’s serve seven times over the final three sets. The 35th-ranked Klizan made 57 unforced errors, 42 after the first set.

“In the first set I simply was not motivated enough,” Nadal told reporters. “I simply had to add intensity, increase my level of game, my attitude, and I found the motivation.”

The 11-time Grand Slam champion has only one loss in nine appearances in Paris, falling to Sweden’s Robin Soderling in the fourth round in 2009.

Sharapova needed just four games to complete her victory over Bouchard after play was halted two days ago just before 9 p.m. local time.

Last American

John Isner, the No. 19 seed, came from two sets down to beat fellow American Ryan Harrison 8-6 in the fifth. Isner is the last U.S. man left in the singles draw.

Men’s fourth seed David Ferrer beat fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-1, 7-5, 6-4 yesterday and No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated No. 25 Jeremy Chardy in the first all-French matchup at Roland Garros in nine years.

Unseeded Viktor Troicki of Serbia knocked off No. 10 Marin Cilic of Croatia, while No. 14 Milos Raonic saw his bid to become the first Canadian to reach the round of 16 in Paris end with a three-set loss to 23rd-seeded South African Kevin Anderson.

Fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland advanced to the fourth round with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Germany’s Dinah Pfizenmaier. Fifth seed Sara Errani of Italy defeated Germany’s Sabine Lisicki 6-0, 6-4 to reach the fourth round, as did No. 8 Angelique Kerber of Germany, who beat American Varvare Lepchenko in three sets.

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