Problems pile up for Nadal but Serena makes haste
By Martyn Herman
PARIS (Reuters) - A lack of sunshine, inferior opponents in his face and now a rant at the French Open schedule - things are not going as planned for defending champion Rafa Nadal despite a belated second-round victory at Roland Garros on Friday.
The Spaniard finally got his challenge for a record eighth title moving again after it ground to a standstill in dismal weather, seeing off Slovakia's Martin Klizan 4-6 6-3 6-3 6-3.
Women's champion Maria Sharapova required only 15 minutes on a cool but dry Chatrier Court as she polished off her second-round opponent Eugenie Bouchard having been a set and 4-2 to the good when rain stopped play on Thursday.
Top seed Serena Williams moved into the fourth round with a 6-0 6-2 rout of Romanian Sorana Cirstea. The American has dropped a mere six games and her winning streak now stands at 27 matches.
"Every slam is really my priority," said the 15-times major winner but only once French Open champion. "I would love to win this one, but there is still a lot of people in the draw that would love to win this tournament."
Nadal's clash with Klizan was one of several second-round matches from the top half of the men's draw which is lagging behind the bottom half occupied by second seed Roger Federer, who remained untroubled with a win against Julien Benneteau.
Federer provided 90 minutes of silky tennis to win 6-3 6-4 7-5 having taken the match by the scruff of the neck with a burst of 14 straight points towards the end of the opening set.
The Swiss's sanguine mood was a contrast to Nadal's who labeled the tournament's schedule "a joke" after playing catch-up after his match with Klizan was rained off the previous day. Continued...