• Federer rocks on, Sharapova through as Halep crashes


    PARIS: Roger Federer advanced to the third round of the French Open on Wednesday Thursday in Manila) as Maria Sharapova brushed aside fellow Russian Vitalia Diatchenko but Simona Halep became the day’s biggest casualty.

    Swiss second seed Federer beat Marcel Granollers of Spain 6-2, 7-6 (7/1), 6-3 in front of a packed crowd on Court Suzanne Lenglen that included Angus Young, the guitarist of veteran Australian rock band AC/DC.

    Federer got the job done in one hour, 47 minutes, although he was broken twice and his opponent made life tough in the second set in particular.

    The 2009 champion came through a tiebreak before running away with the third set and will now meet Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia in the last 32.

    When asked about the presence of Young among the crowd on a sun-drenched Paris day, Federer said: “I have seen them twice in concert. Once when I was 15 and I even met him.

    “I still had long hair at the time. I don’t know if he remembers. It is a real pleasure to see him here.”

    Reigning women’s champion Sharapova, who was also the winner at Roland Garros in 2012 and runner-up in 2013, defeated Diatchenko 6-3, 6-1 to set up a clash with former finalist Samantha Stosur in the third round.

    The second seed won the opener when Diatchenko double-faulted on set point and Sharapova then broke right at the start of the second set to lead 2-0.

    Diatchenko saved a first match point to pull it back to 5-1, but she could not stop her compatriot closing out the match in the following game.

    Stosur of Australia, the runner-up in 2010 who is seeded 26th this year, breezed past French wildcard Amandine Hesse 6-0, 6-1.

    Stosur and Sharapova also met in the last 16 a year ago, with the Russian prevailing in three sets.

    “She’s always a tough opponent and loves playing on clay. But I have a good record against her and I hope I can continue that,” said Sharapova of her next opponent.

    Romanian Halep lost to Sharapova in the finals last year but the third seed was the biggest name yet to fall by the wayside in the women’s draw as she was beaten 7-5, 6-1 by veteran Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia in the second round.

    Lucic-Baroni, who last reached the third round in Paris in 2001 as a teenager, now faces French 29th seed Alize Cornet, who saw off Romania’s Alexandra Dulgheru 6-2, 7-5.

    Ana Ivanovic, the 2008 champion who is seeded seven, overcame Japan’s Misaki Doi 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a match that went on beyond 9pm local time (1900 GMT).

    Eighth seed Carla Suarez-Navarro also progressed after her French opponent Virginie Razzano retired hurt having lost the opening set.



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