Published May 31, 2013
| Sports Network
Paris, France – Rafael Nadal won his second-round match Friday at the French Open, but for the second time this week had to rally from a set down to do it.
Meanwhile, Roger Federer had no trouble in his third consecutive straight-set win.
Nadal, forced to wait an extra day to play his second-round match because of rain on Thursday, dropped the opening set Friday against Slovakia's Martin Klizan, then stormed back to claim a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 triumph. The script was similar for Nadal in the first round, as the seven-time French champ also lost the first set against Daniel Brands before winning the next three.
"I have played very little tennis in three days, so I started the match with probably not the right intensity with more doubts than usual," said Nadal, who lost only one set in seven matches en route to last year's championship.
Nadal, trying for a fourth straight title at Roland Garros and eighth in the past nine years, will meet Italy's Fabio Fognini in round three. The Spanish superstar is seeded third this year despite a season in which he has reached the final in each of the eight tournaments he has played -- winning six -- since coming back from a seven-month layoff caused by a knee injury.
Federer, stunningly, has yet to win a tournament of any kind in 2013. He lost to Nadal in the Rome final earlier this month, but appears to be in fine form on the red clay and finished his stellar first week in Paris with a 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 win over Frenchman Julien Benneteau.
The 2009 French champ eased past a pair of qualifiers in the first two rounds and figured to have a test in Benneteau, who beat Federer in the Rotterdam quarterfinals earlier this year.
Benneteau broke Federer to start Friday's match, but the 17-time Grand Slam champ returned the favor soon after. The Swiss icon was not broken again and converted each of his four break-point chances in the match, including at love for 6-5 in the third set. He then held at love to finish the match.
"I'm happy because I have not used much of my energy so far," said Federer. "I think I can go deep in the tournament. I feel totally relaxed. I'm quite confident. I can feel it, which is what you need if you want good results at Roland Garros."
Another Frenchman awaits Federer in the fourth round, as he will take on Gilles Simon. The 15th seed escaped Friday with a 2-6, 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-2 win over American Sam Querrey.
Fourth-seeded David Ferrer also cruised into the fourth round with a 6-1, 7-5, 6-4 thumping of fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez. He'll next meet South Africa's Kevin Anderson, who stunned 14th-seeded Canadian slugger Milos Raonic in straight sets, 7-5, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3.
Sixth-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga dumped countryman Jeremy Chardy, 6-1, 6-2, 7-5 and will next play Serbia's Viktor Troicki, who posted a 7-6 (14-12), 6-4, 7-5 win over 10th-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia.
Another French favorite appeared headed to the round of 16, but Gael Monfils failed to convert four match points and Spain's Tommy Robredo roared back from a two-set deficit for a 2-6, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 win. Next up for the 32nd seed will be fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro, as the 11th seed swept away Italy's Andreas Seppi, 7-6 (7-1), 6-0, 6-4.
Other second-round winners Friday included American John Isner, Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic and Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka.
The 19th-seeded Isner rallied from two sets down for the first time in his career, capturing a 5-7, 6-7 (7-9), 6-3, 6-1, 8-6 victory over countrymate Ryan Harrison, while the eighth-seeded Tipsarevic also went the distance against Spain's Fernando Verdasco, pulling out a 7-6 (7-3), 6-1, 3-6, 5-7, 8-6 triumph. The ninth-seeded Wawrinka was already in the third set of his match against Argentina's Horacio Zeballos when darkness halted play Thursday and needed only a few minutes Friday to complete a 6-2, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 win.
Frenchman Richard Gasquet, Tommy Haas of Germany and Russian veteran Nikolay Davydenko were other second-round winners Friday. The seventh-seeded Gasquet trampled Poland's Michal Przysiezny, 6-3, 6-3, 6-0, while the 12th-seeded Haas knocked out American Jack Sock in straight sets and the unseeded Davydenko eliminated Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin in three. Jerzy Janowicz of Poland and Russian Mikhail Youzhny each advanced in four sets.
The third round will continue Saturday and a number of players will see action on consecutive days, including Nadal. He'll have to take on a rested Fognini, who beat the rain and fading light Thursday to win his second-round match.
Also Saturday, top-seeded Novak Djokovic will face Grigor Dimitrov in a rematch from Madrid. Dimitrov stunned the world No. 1 earlier this month at the Magic Box with a 7-6 (8-6), 6-7 (8-10), 6-3 victory.