Roland Garros: Clijsters Suffers Rus Defeat
World number 114 Arantxa Rus has provided the biggest surprise of the French Open after ousting second favorite Kim Clijsters in the second round. The 20-year-old unseeded Dutch overcame the Belgian in three sets, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 to near her best grand slam performance.
After an expected start which found this year’s Australian Open champion winning the opener by three games thanks to an early break, Kim started to lose her pace as the game progressed. Thus, the second set highlighted the two exchanging five break points, the last one being taken by the Dutch who made it 6-5 to serve for 1-1. Rus succeeded and evened the score to push the meeting into decider. Rus broke the Belgian in the third and fifth games of the third set to power through to a 5-1 lead. Another later break allowed the unseed to crash the favorite by five games.
Said a very disappointed Clijsters: “I started doubting a little bit… My ankle feels fine, so that has absolutely nothing to do with it… I made the best with the situation that I was in. If I felt like I wasn’t ready as much as I would have liked to be, I wouldn’t have come here.”
Rus will next play Maria Kirilenko of Russian who made an easy progress after ousting Chanelle Scheepers in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4. Yanina Wickmayer and Agnieszka Radwanska will also fight for a place into the fourth term. The Belgian eliminated Ayumi Morita 6-4, 7-5, while her next opponent eased past Sania Mirza of India in two sets, beating her 6-2, 6-4.
The same day Vani King stunned Elena Baltacha of Scotland in three sets, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 and will next play two-time winner Petra Kvitova in the third term. The Czech, champion in Brisbane and Paris, made an easy progress after knocking Chinese Jie Zheng 6-4, 6-1. On the same half of the table, the Aussie grand slam finalist Li Na is to meet Romania’s Sorana Cirstea in the third round. Na beat Silvia Soler of Spain in straight sets, 6-4, 7-5, while her next opponent defeated compatriot Alexandra Dulgheru 6-2, 7-5.
Concerning the first half of the table, Francesca Schiavone needed three sets to pass Vesna Dolonts of Russia, beating her 6-1, 6-2. The Italian, who is stripped of any title this season, will next face Shuai Peng of China who eliminated Polona Hercog 7-5, 6-1. Jelena Jankovic is to meet Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the third round. The Serbian crashed Vera DUshevina 6-3, 6-2, while the American edged Varvara Lepchenko in there sets, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.
This year’s Monterrey champion Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova defeated Mona Barthel 6-0, 7-6 in the second round, being expected to face Nuria Llagostera who has made an easy progress after upsetting Alize Cornet of France in straight sets, 6-0, 6-2. One of the main favorites Vera Zvonareva edged Sabine Lisicki after surviving an early scare, 4-6, 7-5, 7-5.
Lisicki underwent medical treatment at the end of the game and needed a stretcher to leave to court. Zvonareva’s next opponent is Anastasia Rodionova who rallied past Romania’s Edina Gallovits-Hall 6-1, 6-4. Samantha Stosur and Gisela Dulko are also expected to play for a fourth round berth. The Aussie eased past Romania’s Simona Halep 6-0, 6-2, while Dulko beat Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria 6-4, 6-2.
The 2011 Stuttgart champion Julia Gorges overcame Lucie Safarova in three sets after losing the first one. The German came from behind to stun the Czech with a 7-5, 6-2 rally. Gorges will next meet Marion Bartoli in what is expected to be one of the toughest clashes on Friday. The crowd favorite defeated Olga Govortsova 6-4, 6-7, 6-2. On the same half of the table, Rebecca Marino edged Maria Jose Martinesz of Spain 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 to set a Svetlana Kuznetsova meeting in the third. The Russian knocked Romania’s Irina Begu in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1.
Finally, top seed and world champion Caroline Wozniacki ousted Aleksandra Wozniak 6-3, 7-6 in the second round and will next face Daniela Hantuchova, winner of this year’s Pattaya City event, who eliminated Sara Errani 6-1, 6-2. As for the second half of the table, Andrea Petkovic is to play Lucie Hradecka. The German follows a straight-set win over Bojana Jovanovski whom she defeated 6-4, 7-6 in the opener, while the Czech edged Anastasija Sevastova in three sets, 6-3, 5-7, 6-1.
Anabel Medina and Jarmila Gajdosova will also fight for a place into the third round. The Spaniard stunned Corinna Dentoni 7-5, 7-5 to meet the Aussie for the first time this season. Gajdosova ousted Virginie Razzano 6-3, 6-1, the winner between the two being expected to meet either Petkovic or Hradecka.
Former world champion Maria Sharapova will play Caroline Garcia in the second term. The Russian knocked Mirjana Lucic 6-3, 6-0, while the French beat Zuzana Ondraskova 6-3, 6-4 in the opener. Jill Craybas is to confront Yung-Jan Chan of Taipei in the second round. Craybas eased past Eleni Daniilidou of Greece 6-3, 6-3 in the first day, while Chan ousted Klara Zakopalova 7-5, 6-1.
Winner of this year’s Miami Masters and Marbella events, Victoria Azarenka will next play Pauline Parmentier of France. The Belarusian eliminated Andrea Hlavakova 6-3, 6-3, while her next opponent beat Ksenia Pervak 7-6, 6-4 in the first day. The winner between the two will face either Roberta Vinci, who defeated Alberta Brianti in three sets, or Iryna Bremond who follows a three-set win over Evgeniya Rodina.
Ana Ivanovic’s killer Johanna Larsson is to meet Ekaterina Makarova in the second round. The Swede stunned the former champion 7-6, 0-6, 6-2, while the Russian edged Romina Oprandi 6-4, 3-6, 6-0.
Roland Garros Prize Money:
Winner – 1,200,000 euro
Finalist – 600,000 euro
Semi finalist – 300,000 euro
Quarter finalist – 150,000 euro
R16 – 75,000 euro
R32 – 42,000 euro
R64 – 25,000 euro
R128 – 15,000 euro11