(photo credit: REUTERS)
PARIS – Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich crashed out of the Roland Garros doubles
competition in the first round on Thursday, on a day in which Kim Clijsters, one
of the favorites in the women’s event, also suffered a stunning exit.
Israeli duo’s frustrating season continued with a 7-6 (5), 6-3 defeat to Fabio
Fognini and Filippo Volandri, with Ram and Erlich never really finding their
rhythm in a blustery and overcast day in Paris.
“To lose in the first
round of a Grand Slam tournament is bitterly disappointing,” Erlich told The
“We lost to a more determined team.
conditions meant that we couldn’t really display good tennis, but we still
should have found a way to claim a win. We had our chances but didn’t take them.
We were under more pressure than them and this is a tough defeat to
Israeli interest in Paris ended later Thursday when Ram and
Meghann Shaughnessy lost 7-6 (1), 6-4 to Jamie Murray and Nadia Petrova in the
first round of the mixed doubles.
Clijsters, French Open runner-up in
2001 and 2003, suffered more agony on the clay with a sudden secondround 3-6,
7-5, 6-1 defeat to Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus.
The second seed, a doubt
before the tournament after injuring her ankle at a cousin’s wedding, looked to
have shrugged off the ill effects when she led 5-2 in the second set and held
two match points.
However, an unexpected turn of events saw her lose 11
of the next 12 games and fall in shocking fashion to the world No.
“I was too negative in my head,” said Clijsters, who had no excuse
for her performance.
“If I wasn’t feeling like I was able to play tough
matches, then I wouldn’t have made that decision to come here.”
Sharapova (7) survived a scare to claim a 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 victory over France’s
Caroline Garcia after trailing at one stage by a set and two breaks.
advancing Thursday were Na Li (6), Petra Kvitova (9) and Agnieszka Radwanska
After coming back to defeat John Isner in five sets in the first
round, world No. 1 and defending champion Rafael Nadal had to toil for three
hours and 18 minutes on Thursday before claiming a 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (4) victory
over countryman Pablo Andujar (48).
Andy Murray labored to a 7-6 (3),
6-4, 7-5 victory over Simone Bolelli while Robin Soderling showed he too was a
force with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over Albert Ramos.