Wed, May 28, 2008 - Page 20 News List

Kuznetsova breezes into round two at French Open


Japan's Aiko Nakamura returns the ball to Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova yesterday during their first-round match at the French Open in Paris.


Former US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia advanced to the second round of the French Open yesterday with a straight sets win over Japan's Aiko Nakamura.

Kuznetsova, seeded fourth and a finalist at Roland Garros in 2006, won through 6-2, 6-3 in 65 minutes in a match which had been delayed for three hours because of rain.

Play started after a rain delay of two hours 50 minutes yesterday. Only 25 out of 56 first-round matches had been completed on Monday before rain stopped play for the day.

In one of those, Venus Williams dropped a set but recovered to reach the second round with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 win over Tzipora Obziler.

Obziler, at 35 the oldest woman in the tournament, fought with an energy belying her years against the eighth-seeded American.

Williams started confidently, breaking the Israeli’s service in the fifth and ninth games to take the first set in 41 minutes.

She raced to a 4-1 lead in the second set but then found herself facing break points at 4-4.

Williams staved off the first with a powerful passing shot, benefited from an unforced error on the second but hit a forehand long on the third and Obziler followed up on her service game to level the match.

Obziler stole Williams’s serve but lost her stride as the American hit longer balls to push her far from the baseline.

Williams converted her second match point with a crosscourt smash.

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