PARIS – Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova successfully dealt with the wet weather and their opponents Monday at the French Open.
Both former No. 1 players advanced to the second round at Roland Garros, playing through rain and rain delays, while current men’s No. 1 Rafael Nadal finished off his match in the sunshine.
Djokovic beat Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 despite being broken three times, including while serving for the match for the first time.
The second-seeded Serb was leading 4-1 when rain halted play on Court Philippe Chatrier, but it restarted about an hour later.
“Very heavy conditions. The court is not that great, in a great condition, at this moment,” Djokovic said. “But of course, considering the amount of the rain that we had in last four or five days, it is not easy for people to maintain the court in the right state. They are doing their best.”
Nadal has already won a record eight French Open titles, but he is looking to become the first man to win five times in a row in Paris.
On Monday, he improved his record at Roland Garros to 60-1 by beating Robby Ginepri of the United States 6-0, 6-3, 6-0.
Sharapova, the 2012 women’s champion, was first on court in the main stadium and needed little more than an hour to beat Ksenia Pervak 6-1, 6-2. She broke Pervak five times and finished with 17 winners, while Pervak had only four.
Wawrinka exits early
Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka lost in the first round, surprised by Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 6-4, 5-7, 6-2, 6-0.
The third-seeded Wawrinka was playing his first Grand Slam match as a major champion, but he faded against his 41st-ranked opponent.
Wawrinka was a quarterfinalist at Roland Garros last year, and won a clay-court title at Monte Carlo last month, beating pal Roger Federer in the final.
Still not fully recovered from injury, ninth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan lost 7-6 (4), 6-1, 6-2 to 59th-ranked Martin Klizan of Slovakia in the first round.
A year ago, Nishikori became the first Japanese man in 75 years to reach the fourth round at Roland Garros, before losing at that stage to eventual champion Rafael Nadal.
This month, Nishikori became the first player from his country to be ranked in the ATP’s top 10.