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Rafa rages at schedule as 'not fair'

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Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates defeating Slovakia's Martin Klizan in their second round match at the French Open tennis tournament, at Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Friday, May 31, 2013. Nadal won in four sets 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)

Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates defeating Slovakia's Martin Klizan in their second round match at the French Open tennis tournament, at Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Friday, May 31, 2013. Nadal won in four sets 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)

Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates defeating Slovakia's Martin Klizan in their second round match at the French Open tennis tournament, at Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Friday, May 31, 2013. Nadal won in four sets 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)

Rafael Nadal described the French Open schedule as a joke after struggling through his second-round match against Martin Klizan in Paris.

The seven-time champion was scheduled to play on Thursday but only got as far as the warm-up before the rain came down and had to return yesterday.

For the second successive match, Nadal dropped the opening set, but again he turned things around to defeat Slovakian Klizan 4-6 6-3 6-3 6-3.

The Spaniard's gripe was that his next opponent, Fabio Fognini, was scheduled to play his match against Lukas Rosol earlier on Thursday and therefore will have had almost an extra day's rest when they meet tomorrow.

 

REAL

He said: "I think everybody knows in this room that the schedule of yesterday was wrong. That's the real thing.

"The director of the tournament, supervisors, they take a bad position two days ago, because when you make the schedule at 7pm, you know what weather predictions you have for the next days.

"I cannot play third after a men's and a girl's match when my possible opponent plays second after girls. That's not fair. And today I was playing almost three hours on court, and my opponent was watching the TV in the locker room.

"So if you told me that's fair, I say that's not fair.

"The only thing that I can do is be positive, smile, and try to win my match and try to be ready for tomorrow."

Roger Federer is already through to the fourth round after a 6-3 6-4 7-5 victory over Julien Benneteau.

It was the end of the road for French entertainer Gael Monfils, whose wins over Tomas Berdych and Ernests Gulbis lit up the early stages of the tournament.

Monfils looked set to beat Tommy Robredo and had four match points in the fourth set but he could not take them and ran out of steam in the decider, going down 2-6 6-7 (5/7) 6-2 7-6 (7/3) 6-2.

Serena Williams will hope she can ignore her winning streak for four more matches after cruising into the fourth round in Paris.

The world number one's 6-0 6-2 victory over Romania's Sorana Cirstea made it 27 straight wins and 70 from 73 since her first-round defeat at Roland Garros last year.

Williams said: "I actually don't think about it, and after every match I'm reminded. And, ironically enough, I forget about it as soon as it's done.

"I don't think it's about a winning streak. I think it's about winning important matches and winning the right matches at the right time."

 

RELUCTANT

Maria Sharapova is a round behind but wasted little time yesterday finishing off Eugenie Bouchard.

The defending champion drew the short straw weather-wise on Thursday, not starting her match until late because of the poor weather and then being unable to finish.

Bouchard and a reluctant Sharapova left Court Philippe Chatrier at 9pm on Thursday withrain falling steadily and the Russian only two games away from victory.

Canadian Bouchard is an up-and-coming talent and the 19-year-old was certainly not afraid to take on her opponent and should have levelled at 5-5 but missed a golden opportunity for a forehand winner and that was that as Sharapova wrapped up a 6-2 6-4 victory.


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