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Page last updated at 18:06 GMT, Tuesday, 26 May 2009 19:06 UK

Retirement sends Djokovic through

FRENCH OPEN
Venue: Roland Garros Date: 24 May - 7 June
Coverage: Live on BBC Red Button, live streaming and daily text commentary on BBC Sport website, updates on BBC Radio 5 Live plus second week commentary on BBC 5 Live Sports Extra. TV coverage on Eurosport.


Novak Djokovic

Lapentti provided a stern test for Djokovic before his injury

Fourth seed Novak Djokovic was handed an easy route into the second round of the French Open when his opponent Nicolas Lapentti retired hurt.

Djokovic had started slowly in blustery conditions but was in control of the first set at 5-2 up when the Ecuadorian landed heavily on his ankle.

Lapentti attempted to continue but gave up when trailing 6-3 3-1.

Fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro is also through after thumping France's Michael Llodra 6-3 6-3 6-1.

The 20-year-old Argentine had won only one match in three previous visits to Roland Garros but never looked like losing to Llodra, the world number 78, and is through to round two in Paris for only the second time.

I think everybody could see the power the wind was creating, and you couldn't really judge which side the wind was going to blow

Novak Djokovic

Del Potro admits he has not always been comfortable on clay but says he is growing in confidence, explaining: "I feel good. What I did well is play well in the moments I had to, and that was enough.

"I've played in Masters Series events [on clay] and my results were good, but a Grand Slam gives you a unique feeling."

The world number five plays Viktor Troicki of Serbia in the second round.

Djokovic's next test will be against Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky and he will hope for as easy a passage as he was given by Lapentti.

606: DEBATE

The 22-year-old, a semi-finalist here in 2007 and 2008, had already assumed control of the match with some trademark sizzling crosscourt backhands when his opponent aggravated an old ankle problem.

Lapentti needed lengthy treatment and had heavy strapping applied before playing on - but he was clearly still in pain and, after Djokovic broke him again at the start of the second set, he decided to end his misery.

It was a brief work-out for Djokovic but he was still pleased to go through, saying: "I would probably love to hit more points and to stay a little bit more time on the court.

"But on the other side we didn't get a lot of rallies today because of the conditions. I think everybody could see the power the wind was creating, and you couldn't really judge which side the wind was going to blow."

Juan Martin del Potro
Del Potro made a confident start to his French Open campaign

Elsewhere, ninth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga came through an all-French clash with Julien Benneteau, winning 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-4.

But America's 15th seed James Blake is out after losing 7-6 7-5 6-2 to Leonardo Mayer of Argentina.

Another home hope, Gael Monfils, is nursing a knee injury but he still made convincing progress, with the 11th seed beating Bobby Reynolds of the United States 6-2 6-3 6-1.

And 16th seed Tommy Robredo of Spain beat France's Adrian Mannarino 6-2 6-1 6-2.

But Germany's 27th seed Rainer Schuttler is out after a crushing 6-0 6-0 6-4 defeat by Marc Gicquel of France.

Gicquel won the first 14 games before Schuttler got off the mark but his revival came far too late to rescue the match.

And highly-rated Australian teenager Bernard Tomic tumbled out 6-1 6-2 6-2 at the hands of 29th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Christophe Rochus of Belgium was leading France's Fabrice Santoro 6-3 6-1 3-6 5-3 before the match was suspended because of bad light.



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see also
French Open day three as it happened
26 May 09 |  Tennis
Serena survives first-round test
26 May 09 |  Tennis
French Open day three pictures
26 May 09 |  Tennis
Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Women's singles draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Rafa the unstoppable?
21 May 09 |  Tennis


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