Rain dampens Roland Garros

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PARIS, May 28 – Former champion Ana Ivanovic and super-senior Kimiko Date Krumm saw their French Open hopes fizzle out in the Roland Garros gloom on Thursday as heavy rain brought havoc to the second-round programme.Ivanovic, the 2008 champion and former world number one, bowed out meekly 6-3, 6-0 to big-hitting Russian 28th seed Alisa Kleybanova, who has made the last 32 for the first time.

Kleybanova will face either Polish eighth seed Agnieszka Radwanska or Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova for a fourth-round spot.

The defeat for Ivanovic, now ranked 42 in the world, was the earliest in her six visits to the tournament.

"I didn’t play that badly," insisted the 22-year-old Serbian, who has failed to reach the fourth round of any Grand Slam since her 2008 win here.

"She didn’t miss many balls and made so many winners. I didn’t do too much wrong and was unlucky on some calls. Everything was going out."

Japan’s Date Krumm, who turns 40 in September and made her Paris debut in 1989, was unable to repeat her stunning first-round dismissal of former world number one Dinara Safina as she lost to Australia’s Jarmila Groth.

With Date Krumm carrying a calf injury, the Slovakian-born Groth cruised to a 6-0, 6-3 win and next faces either Russian 21st seed Vera Zvonareva or Australian compatriot Anastasia Rodionova.

"I felt bad for her but she’s an experienced player and she fought and she played till the end, so I give her credit," said Groth.

Also going through was Chinese 11th seed Li Na, who brushed aside France’s Stephanie Cohen-Aloro 6-2, 6-2 and now faces experienced Italian Francesca Schiavone.

Play on the fifth day of the French Open got underway four and a half hours late because of rain after more than two hours had been lost on Wednesday.

Ninety minutes of action was then squeezed in before Roland Garros, which had been bathed in 30-degree sunshine at the start of the week, was drenched by another torrential downpour.

Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic, the fourth seed, had split the first two sets with Estonian qualifier Kaia Kanepi, while men’s sixth seed Andy Roddick was a set to the good, and 5-5 in the second, against Slovenia’s Blaz Kavcic.

Fourth seeded Briton Andy Murray had time for just one more game of his suspended second-round clash against Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Chela.

The local crowd was eager for the resumption of the titanic clash between French 13th seed Gael Monfils and Italy’s Fabio Fognini, who were locked in a bad-tempered tie that was called off in complete darkness just before 2200 (1900GMT) on Wednesday.

Monfils had led by two sets before Fognini battled back and the pair were 5-5 in the final set, with the Italian having wasted three match points, when play was halted on Court Philippe Chatrier.

The combustible Italian was docked a point for protesting at length that the match should have been suspended at 4-4 in the final set while Monfils, despite suffering from cramp, had wanted to play on.

"At the end, the fans blinded Fabio with a laser pen," Fognini’s father, Fulvio, told sports daily L’Equipe.

"I have never seen a crowd that was so unsporting. It’s a disgrace. We were three against 10,000. It was home refereeing."

Former champions Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams both fell victim to the downpours as their second-round matches were postponed until Friday.

Nadal had been due to face Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos while Williams was to meet Germany’s Julia Goerges.

Should Thursday’s rain relent, Serbian third seed Novak Djokovic was due to tackle Japan’s Kei Nishikori.

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