Ivanovic, Blake win

Paris, May 25:

Two-time Grand Slam runner-up Ana Ivanovic struggled with her serve on Sunday before reaching the second round on the opening day of the French Open by beating Sofia Arvidsson 6-2, 7-5.

The second-ranked Ivanovic had six double-faults and was broken by her Swedish opponent when serving for the first set at 5-1. The first seeded player to lose was No 15 Nicole Vaidisova. She reached the French Open semi-finals in 2006 and the quarter-finals last year, but was upset by Iveta Benesova 7-6 (2), 6-1.

In the men’s draw, No 6 David Nalbandian and No 7 James Blake won. Blake’s 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (3) victory over Rainer Schuettler made him the first American man to reach the second round at Roland Garros since 2006.

Ivanovic was also broken in the third game of the second set. In her next service game, while trailing 3-1, Ivanovic saved three break points before holding. Then, after breaking Arvidsson to get to 3-3, the Serb saved two more break points. In the final game, Ivanovic hit two forehands down the line to break Arvidsson and win the match. Ivanovic will face Lucie Safarova in the second round. The Czech player beat Sandra Kloesel of Germany 6-1, 6-1.

Vaidisova reached the fourth round at the Australian Open but she has now lost six straight matches. Vaidisova double-faulted on match point to put the 70th-ranked Benesova into the second round.

Nalbandian, a two-time French Open semi-finalist, advanced to the second round beating Carlos Berlocq 6-2, 6-4, 6-1.