French Open day three

Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Maria Sharapova and Heather Watson all win but Anne Keothavong is knocked out.

30 May 2012 Last updated at 10:00

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As it happened

  1. 1817: 

    Another wonderful day of tennis made all the better thanks to victories for Andy Murray and Heather Watson. Serena Williams is still toiling on Court Philippe Chatrier - the second set of that match with serve with Williams 4-3 ahead - but the two other big guns billed to appear today, Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova, are already enjoying Paris at their leisure, satisfied after convincing victories. There will be more of the same from us on Wednesday so join us on Day Four for an entertaining day with Roger Federer and Venus Williams.


    Andrew Bennett on Twitter: "Not sure what all the fuss was about - great first round win! A nice run out sandwiched between a #baguette and a #bagel #bbctennis."

    John Wood on Twitter: "Why people so down on Murray. Yes second set wasn't great but he won it. He's only dropped six games total. Nadal dropped five and he's the champ!

  3. 1805: 

    A little wobble in the second set but overall a trouble-free win for Murray, who won the first five games in less than 20 minutes. Even Nadal would have been proud of that. The fourth seed with play Jarkko Nieminen in the second round, the Finn progressing after his rival Igor Andreev retired because of injury during the third set of their match.

  4. 1802: 

    Times tennis correspondent Neil Harman on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra: "It could hardly have gone any better for Andy Murray. He had a little dip but for the most part played he played inside himself. He was a little taken aback by Ito in the second set but he was a comfortable winner."


    Jack Butler on Twitter: "Murray always put us through the mill. It must be a British thing."

    Sam Says on Twitter: "All very well saying Nadal would have won easier but Nadal's arguable the best clay courter ever, Murray's doing well."

    GAME, SET AND MATCH- Murray 6-1 7-5 6-0 Ito

    With the finishing line in sight, Murray decides to up the ante and shoots from the hips for a colossal forehand winner. Ah, lovely stuff at the very end - The pair exchange drop shots and Ito, covering the ground like a panther, stoops to ping a winner into an open court for the best point of the match. Murray still in control, however, and wraps up the match with a serve to the wings, which Ito can only direct into the tramlines.

    *Murray 6-1 7-5 5-0 Ito

    Three break points for Murray and he has his rival on the canvas, but it is Ito, with a double fault, who knocks himself out and it's a downbeat ending to a peculiar match.

  8. 1739: 

    Times tennis correspondent Neil Harman on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra: "Murray is back on course to secure a straight-sets win, as we all expected. He's made life a little difficult for himself but, hey ho, that's Andy Murray."

    Murray 6-1 7-5 4-0 Ito*

    The camera once again goes in search of Kim Sears and she doesn't look too happy, but that was perhaps because the Scot had just produced a double fault from his inconsistent racquet. He holds to 15, though, Ito ballooning a forehand wide and Murray is two games away from victory.

    *Murray 6-1 7-5 3-0 Ito

    Ah, what a shame. Ito screws a forehand long and, in a blink of an eye, it's a break to love for Murray. The Scot should be back in his apartment at the Champs Elysees soon.

    Murray 6-1 7-5 2-0 Ito*

    Murray, holding to love, on easy street now you sense as Ito's reserves of willpower and strength seem to be running low. By the way, Serena Williams wins the first set of her match against Virgine Razzano 6-4. No need to thank me, just providing a service...

    * Murray 6-1 7-5 1-0 Ito

    Ito, dangling from the precipice, flaps at a backhand to allow Murray to effortlessly rattle up a break point. The Scot, gambolling on the baseline, steps into the Ito serve and his new-found aggression forces the 24-year-old to net another backhand for game Murray.


    Owen Chamberlain on Twitter: "Murray may come through in straight sets but this 2nd set has been far from routine. Nadal would of won this match 6-1 6-2 6-2."

    GAME AND SECOND SET- Murray 6-1 7-5 Ito*

    A mixture of superb defending from Murray and Ito errors gift the Scot a hold to love and the British number one now has a two-set lead.

    Wednesday's schedule of play has been released and on centre court we shall see Azarenka-Pfizenmaier, Federer-Ungur, Simon-Baker, V.Williams- Radwanska

    *Murray 6-1 6-5 Ito

    Three break points for Murray - an extravagant forehand from the Scot bounces beyond the baseline... a backhand return can only find the net... and he slices a backhand long. Deuce. Another break point at advantage for the Scot and the crowd groan in unison when Ito's forehand sails long.

    Murray 6-1 5-5 Ito*

    The pair embark on a baseline slug-fest and it's Ito who once again comes out on top when Murray tamely finds the net. The camera focuses on Murray's lady friend, Kim Sears, who is shrugging her shoulders and shaking her head, visibly disappointed by her man's performance in this second set, but at least he holds.

    *Murray 6-1 4-5 Ito

    Ito hasn't a particularly impressive Grand Slam record in his fledgling career, crashing out in the first round at the 2011 US Open and exiting at Round Two of this year's Australian Open. The man from Japan is determined to make the most of his opportunity in Paris, though, and his aggressive approach makes Murray look like a rabbit caught in headlights. Murray must hold to stay in second-set contention.

    Murray 6-1 4-4 Ito*

    It's Murray who is on the ropes now as the drop shot, which came to his rescue in his previous service game, proves to be his downfall, gifting Ito three break points. Slow hand claps from the Suzanne Lenglen crowd... A stern-looking Lendl looks on... Murray fights on, though, a howitzer of an ace and a sloppy forehand from Ito dragging Murray over the line.

    *Murray 6-1 3-4 Ito

    Oh la la! Ito levitates, stretches every sinew, to launch a forehand winner down the line for 40-0, and it's one flame-thrower of a shot after another from Ito as another classy forehand results in a hold to love.

  20. 1708: 

    Times tennis correspondent Neil Harman on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra: "It's not what top players should do. When you have an opponent on the ropes, you don't let them off. Ito is refreshed, he's playing with far more purpose and imagination. He's on fire at the moment. It's hard to know [coach] Ivan Lendl's expression but I'm sure he's thinking 'what are you doing, Andy?'. It's so frustrating when you're playing as well as Murray was in that first set and suddenly you have a 10-minute lapse - the set can slip through your fingers very quickly. Ito has good ball striking and someone like him only needs a glimmer. He's a streaky chap - once players like him win four or fives games in row, suddenly the set has gone by. Murray has go to be careful in this second set."

    Murray 6-1 3-3 Ito*

    Two whizzing backhand winners down the line from Ito for 15-30 and his fans on Suzanne Lenglen are cock-a-hoop! The drop shot comes to Murray's rescue and the Scot wriggles free from Ito's clutches when the man from Japan drills a forehand long.

    *Murray 6-1 2-3 Ito

    Kaboom! Kerpow! Ito approaching that game like the opening of a Batman movie. The world 68 was on the ropes but is now dancing like a butterfly and stinging like a bee, holding to love with some razor-sharp ball striking.

    Murray 6-1 2-2 Ito*

    Oops! Double fault from Murray for 0-30 so the Scot steadies himself, wipes his perspiring brow, before tossing the fluffy yellow ball into the evening sky, but it's another double fault and the 24-year-old Ito breaks to love! Who saw that one coming? Poor service game from the British number one.

    *Murray 6-1 2-1 Ito

    The sizzling conditions over the last three days means the clay is playing a tad quicker than usual but this match is starting to resemble a grass court match between two giant servers. A comfortable hold to 15 for Ito in quick-sharp time.

    Murray 6-1 2-0 Ito*

    Murray patiently waiting for the errors and they're flowing from Ito's right hand at the moment. Murray concludes another easy hold with a purposeful dash to the middle of the court for a whipped forehand winner.

  26. 1652: 

    Times tennis correspondent Neil Harman on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra: "It's been a dominant performance for the world number four so far. Encouragement no doubt. If Murray can keep this up for another hour, we may be able to have dinner. When we saw the order of play, we thought we might be struggling."

    *Murray 6-1 1-0 Ito

    Ivan Lendl is watching his pupil today and the eight-time Grand Slam winner said earlier that he sees no reason why Murray can't triumph on clay. "Nothing suggests to me that he can't win at the French," said Lendl. Tougher opponents than Ito will block Murray's path as the Scot breaks to love. A lovely crosscourt backhand concluding matters.

  28. 1645: 

    Nick Allen on Twitter: "'Not the most exciting of matches' is exactly what Andy Murray needs in the first few rounds!"

    Jordan Manton on Twitter: "Dragon? Are they sure it doesn't mean feeble mouse? Easy stuff for Andy Murray at the moment."

    Tim Miller on Twitter: "We could do with Murray having a straight sets 1st round victory, rather than a nervy 4/5 setter as is his wont."

    Ben Curtis on Twitter: "Out of roughly 7 billion people Ito is 68th ranked...hardly a dodgy tennis player!"

    GAME AND FIRST SET- Murray 6-1 Ito*

    A touch as delicate as a spider's web from Murray, whose deft backhand volley drops dead. Nice variety from the Scot, but Ito is beginning to play with the freedom of the underdog and a crackerjack winner down the line takes us to deuce. Ito saves a third set point of the game with an irretrievable smash down the middle of an open court but, as you'd expect, the fourth seed eventually wraps things up. "That was good stuff from Murray," says Jonathan Overend on 5 live Sports Extra.

    *Murray 5-1 Ito

    Hello there, nice of you to come to the party, Mr Ito, don't worry about turning up late, we'd be the same on our Roland Garros debut too. An unreturnable serve down the 'T' from the 24-year-old secures Ito a hold to love and the sizeable crowd on Suzanne Lenglen can't but help but whistle and whoop in support of the world number 68.

  31. 1635: 

    Kevin Stuart on Twitter: "Potential banana skin, Murray will have to play well."

    Murray 5-0 Ito*

    Ito's attempted slam dunk crashes into the net and it's another hold to love for Murray, a menacing ace from the Brit's racquet during that match.

    *Murray 4-0 Ito

    Roland Garros debutant Ito is competing in only his third Grand Slam so it's understandable he's got a few hundred butterflies in his belly at the moment. The British number one races 0-30 ahead and in the time it takes you to say Ito Murray ratchets two break points and a wayward backhand from the man from Japan drifts into the tramlines. Not the most exciting of matches so far.

    Murray 3-0 Ito*

    Ito having problems finding his radar, hitting a series of forehands long to gift Murray an easy peasy hold to love. I could be home in time for Neighbours at this rate. By the way, Rafael Nadal has just beaten Simone Bolelli 6-2 6-2 6-1.


    Japanese journalist: "Ito is a very big Japanese boy and he's very good. His name means 'dragon' and he has a famous 'dragon shot' - a strong, heavy forehand. He beat Radek Stepanek last week and is in very good form. Andy Murray is very popular in Japan too but we want our national player to win."

    *Murray 2-0 Ito

    Ito has said victory over Murray would make him "rich and famous" back in Japan and has promised to "be aggressive" on every point, but that is easier said than done. A lovely forehand winner down the line from Murray followed by a double fault from Ito gives Murray two break points, but the chance slips away from Murray's grasp after two poor backhands. Another third break point for Murray... and a wild forehand from Ito drifts long. Hopefully he didn't make any plans to spend his fortune.

    Murray 1-0 Ito*

    Who is Tatsuma Ito? Well, Murray has already admitted he does not know too much about an opponent he played doubles against in Tokyo last year. What the Scot does know, however, is that defeat against the world number 68 is unthinkable. A straight-forward hold to love for the Scot.

  38. 1623: 

    A beautiful evening in Paris and Tatsuma Ito is already standing on the baseline, waiting for the Scot to trot from his chair. Don't forget you can listen to coverage of this match on 5 live sports extra. Let's go!


    Josh in Nottingham on 81111: "I'm sure the professionals, including the 'top four' would argue it is extremely beneficial for them to play the early rounds. Getting used to the surface, acclimatising, building up the tension are essential to the big names putting on the great matches we see in the second week. Here's hoping Murray gets off to a good start and hits the ground running, he'll need to be in top form if he makes it to Nadal in the semis."

    Andy Murray

    "I feel good, the weather have been perfect here in last few days. The courts are fairly quick, it's good. I played him in doubles with my brother in Tokyo last year and I've seen a few videos of him, but I don't know him well so it may take me a bit of time to figure his game out. You want to get through as quickly as possible but a few guys have had tough matches already. You take what you can get. If I'm up and I have the chance to take the match, I won't be sloppy."

  41. 1614: 

    Right, time to limber up and chomp on a chocolate digestive before we begin our game-by-game coverage of Andy Murray's first-round match. Oh, and drum roll, please, as I will reveal the answer to my earlier question (1527): The two players to have beaten Nadal on clay when the Spaniard has won the opening set are Gaston Gaudio, which was in Buenos Aires in 2005, and Alex Corretja in Barcelona in 2003. (I'll get my tin hat as I'm expecting plenty of conjecture over that one...)


    Greg in Romsey on text : "I totally agree with Colin in Ormskirk. These first couple of rounds for the top guys are so tedious to watch I just don't bother anymore. In fact I rarely watch grand slams until the second week now, I find it so boring watching straight set wins, we never get any shock results ever!"


    Deafening roars over on Suzanne Lenglen as the crowd go wild for their compatriot Julien Benneteau who has just beaten Mischa Zverev 6-2 6-7 (3/7) 6-4 6-4. Andy Murray next on Suzanne Lenglen...


    Antonio Turkaly on Twitter: "Bolelli not doing too bad! Got to think that this is probably the toughest match in anyone's calendar, Rafa at Roland Garros."

  45. 1559: 
    GAME AND SECOND SET- Nadal takes two-set lead

    After struggling to hold his serve, the second seed responds by breaking his opponent to win the second set for a 6-2 6-2 lead in this match, although somewhat surprisingly Bolelli has hit 13 winners so far, three more than his opponent.

  46. 1553: 

    It seems Colin in Ormskirk spoke to soon, although to be fair to him he did text in about 10 minutes ago when Nadal was coasting. Bolelli, ranked 111 in the world, has fire in his belly and ekes two break points, but the man from Mallorca proves he has a craftsman's touch when required, pushing a deliciously cute volley over for deuce. Another break point at advantage for the Italian... the 26-year-old nets an attempted crosscourt backhand and Nadal limps over the line for 5-2 Nadal in the second set.


    Colin in Ormskirk on 81111: "Seriously why do they bother making Nadal, Federer or Djokovic play a first round match they may as well just give them a bye, I honestly think Nadal got a harder test in his warm-up than what Bolelli is giving him now."

  48. 1539: 

    Yes, as your messages suggest, it was a disappointing day for Anne Keothavong, who would have overtaken Elena Baltacha to become British number one had she beaten Melinda Czink. The defeat is also a blow to her hopes of representing Great Britain at the Olympics because there is only expected be one wild card awarded to a home player for the women's singles at London 2012. But let's not wallow in defeat, over on Suzanne Lenglen Julien Benneteau is closing in on victory, the Frenchman leading 3-0 in the fourth set.


    Angus from Aberdeen on 81111: "Keothavong reminds me of Alex Bogdanovic - fails to deliver when it matters!"

    Duncan in Chichester on text: "Keothavong must be experiencing a czinking feeling..."

  50. 1527: 

    Julien Benneteau has just won the third set 6-4 against Mischa Zverev for a two-sets-to-one lead on Suzanne Lenglen. The Frenchman a set away from victory and we're potentially a set away from seeing Andy Murray make his 2012 French Open debut. Back on Philippe Chatrier, Nadal has broken twice in the second for a 4-0 lead. An uphill struggle for the Italian from here, especially when you consider Nadal has gone on to win 200 matches and lost just twice after winning an opening set on clay. Just for fun, no prizes, anyone know who beat Nadal on those two rare occasions? You can tweet using the hashtag #bbctennis or text 81111


    Adam Gibby on Twitter: "I don't know why Keothavong keeps going. Can't be fun getting beaten in the first round every grand slam!"

  52. 1512: 
    GAME AND FIRST SET- Nadal wins first set against Bolelli

    Solid if not spectacular from Nadal, who failed to strike any aces and won just 64% of points on his first serve during the first set, but still managed to romp home with a 6-2 first-set win. The defending champion wearing a blinding top in a colour I'd describe as fuchsia, but I'm happy to be corrected on that one.

  53. 1500: 
    GAME, SET AND MATCH- Anne Keothavong suffers first-round exit

    Keothavong waving the white flag on Court Six hooking a backhand into the tramlines for a 6-1 6-2 defeat by Melinda Czink. The Brit was broken far too easily in the seventh game of the second set, plonking a forehand wide and the Hungarian hardly had to break sweat to earn three match points and hold to love. A poor performance from Keothavong against an opponent 35 places below her in the rankings.

  54. 1458: 

    Time to see what Rafa Nadal has been up to while we've been watching Keothavong flounder and it's still on serve in the first set between the Spaniard and Simone Bolelli. Nadal, hoping to become the first man to win seven times at Roland Garros, should have little trouble against a player who is still searching for a first victory on clay this year. And hang on, Keothavong is on the brink of being broken twice. Stand by!


    Emily in Wales on 81111: "Great win for Heather today, but let's not get ahead of ourselves and start piling the pressure on her to perform at the top, top level straight away. She's still young and obviously got a great career ahead of her - the trouble with us Brits is we put too much pressure and expectation on our players then berate them when they aren't world-beaters overnight! Let's just wish Heather an amazing French Open and see what happens."

  56. 1449: 

    Judy Murray, I'm sure, will be disappointed with Keothavong's performance against Czink. The British tennis coach has been writing a daily blog from Paris for the Lawn Tennis Association and has been talking about the scenic route she has discovered, thus avoid the crowds between Chatrier and Suzanne Lenglen, and has even included a picture of the family of hawks she bumped into during her travels.

  57. 1438: 

    Czink effortlessly breaks Keothavong in the third game of the second set and the Hungarian survives break point to hold her serve for a 3-1 lead. The 28-year-old Brit dazzling the crowd with her yellow and white outfit at the moment rather than her tennis.

  58. 1431: 

    Whoop! Keothavong wins the opening service game of the second set against the left-handed Czink, whom she played for the first time this year, with the Briton triumphing in three sets.

  59. 1426: 

    Over on Suzanne Lenglen, it's even stevens between Julien Benneteau and Mischa Zverev at one-set apiece after the German won the second-set tie-break. Stand down, Andy, stand down. Keothavong has just lost the first set 6-1, her forehand return dropping beyond the baseline to surrender the opener. Let's hope for a better showing in the second set from the Brit.


    The Times tennis correspondent Neil Harman on Twitter: "Today we have a Czink and a Lu on court. Any other kitchen/bathroom items out there I wonder?"


    Roland Garros on Twitter: "@andy_murray was looking good in practice earlier and is up next on Lenglen. Will he be taking the trophy home?"

  62. 1418: 

    Keothavong is the other female charged with ensuring Britain has two women in the second-round draw, but it isn't looking good for the British number two as she has now been broken twice and is 5-0 down in the first set. Her form has not been good of late as she suffered a first-round exit on the clay in Strasbourg last week against Mirjana Lucic, an opponent 43 places below her in the rankings and the Brit is once again today finding it difficult against another lowlier ranked opponent.

  63. 1413: 
    GAME, SET AND MATCH- Straight-sets win for Gasquet

    The Frenchman can't hide his delight after a 3-6 4-6 6-7 (4/7) win over Estonia's Jurgen Zopp and he disappears to make way for Rafael Nadal who will be next on Philippe Chatrier.

  64. 1407: 

    Gasquet and Zopp are in a third-set tie-break, while Keothavong's match against Czink is underway and the Brit has been broken in her opening service game.

  65. 1350: 

    Grigor DiMitrov has beaten Donald Young 7-6 6-1 6-1 so Anne Keothavong will soon stroll onto Court Six. Don't forget there will be 5 live sports extra coverage of that match. It's still on serve in the third set over on Philippe Chatrier, Richard Gasquet - who is two sets up - making the crowd wait for the King of Clay.


    James Rogers on Twitter: "A good win for Heather Watson but I think people should bear in mind Vesnina has been out of form for a while now, not an upset."

  67. 1334: 

    On Suzanne Lenglen, Julien Benneteau has blitzed through the first set 6-2 and is currently a break up in the second against Mischa Zverev of Germany so Andy Murray had better start stretching those hamstrings if the Frenchman continues at this pace. It's on serve in the third set between Richard Gasquet and Jurgen Zopp on Philippe Chatrier, while Grigor DiMitrov has broken in the third set against Donald Young.

  68. 1318: 

    Richard Gasquet, who enjoyed his best run at Roland Garros last year when he reached the last 16, has won the second set against Estonian qualifier Jurgen Zopp. On Court Six, Donald Young has fallen two sets behind to Grigor DiMitrov of Bulgaria which means Anne Keothavong's match against Melinda Czink could start soon.


    Owen Chamberlain on Twitter: "Absolutely fantastic win for Heather Watson today. Have we finally got the women's player British tennis has been yearning for?"

  70. 1308: 

    Heather Watson has been in demand since her straight-sets victory over Elena Vesnina but the affable 20-year-old is more than happy to talk about her win.

    "I've been playing very well in practice and I thought to myself I'd just bring what I'm doing in practice," says Watson. "I love it here, I love playing so I thought I'd just take advantage of it and do the best I can. I was very relaxed, I qualified and won a round last year and I remember in my first match I let the nerves get to me a bit. I've grown as a person since then and was able to control the nerves better."

    Watson admits she has not practiced or played against her next opponent Julia Goerges. "I know her quite well and seen her play quite a bit," she adds. "I know she's a hard hitter. I've nothing to lose and I'm looking forward to it."


    BBC Sport tennis correspondent Jonathan Overend on Twitter: "Heather Watson in sparkling form during 5live interview. Hear it when we return on @BBC5LSX for Keothavong match and on @bbc5live at 9pm."

  72. 1255: 

    Time for a quick snoop around the courts and eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic has recovered from losing the opening set to beat Sam Querrey. Richard Gasquet is a set up against Jurgen Zopp of Estonia and is receiving plenty of support on Court Philippe Chatrier, especially as he has just secured a tricky hold for 4-4 in the second set.


    Infostrada Sports on Twitter: "Sharapova records her second 'double bagel' at a Grand Slam after beating Cadantu. She also defeated Capra 6-0 6-0 in the third round of US Open in 2010."

  74. 1230: 

    Shall we do a quick recap of the day's results so far? Ok, let's. Sixth seed David Ferrer is through to the second round after an easy peasy 6-3 6-4 6-1 win over Lukas Lacko and the Spaniard will be joined in the next round by Dmitry Tursunov and Florian Mayer. Alexandr Dolgopolov needs to check out from his hotel, however, as the 16th seed fell in straight sets to Sergiy Stakhovsky. In the women's draw, Petra Kvitova, Ayumi Morita and Julia Goerges are through.

  75. 1220: 
    GAME, SET AND MATCH- Sharapova beats Cadantu in straight sets

    And that's a double bagel. The Russian, chasing a career Grand Slam, makes a statement of intent, although she did not need to hit top gear against Alexandra Cadantu. Sharapova needed merely 48 minutes to secure a 6-0 6-0 victory over an opponent who did not conjure any winners. The three-time Grand Slam champion shows her appreciation to the crowd by blowing kisses towards every corner of the stands. What a pro. Sharapova will play Japan's Ayumi Morita in the next round.


    Phil Maiden on Twitter: "Good performance by Heather Watson. Top 100 in her sights."

  77. 1200: 

    Watson will no doubt be heading back to her Parisian abode this afternoon to soak up the sunshine, but our work here is not done. We'll continue with the live text commentary and wait in anticipation for Anne Keothavong and Andy Murray to complete a hat-trick of British victories. Watson, by the way, will face either 25th seed Julia Goerges or Lucie Hradecka in the next round. Can the British number three reach the third round for the first time in her career? You can tweet me using the hashtag #bbctennis or drop me a text on 81111. Thanking you.


    Daily Mail's tennis correspondent Mike Dickson on Twitter: "Good win for Guernsey's Heather Watson. Extra oomph on serves and returns adding to her athleticism/combativeness."


    Sanj on Twitter: "Well done to Heather Watson... Well deserved win... Andy Murray won't be the only Brit in the 2nd round (I'm assuming Murray wins later)."

    Ratherbeinchina on Twitter: "Amazing stuff by Heather Watson - here's hoping Anna and Andy can follow later today!"

  80. 1142: 

    A fine performance from Watson against an experienced competitor. A vastly improved serve and her athleticism and dexterity were integral to her success. The 20-year-old from Guernsey won an impressive 79% of points on her first serve, hit five aces and her groundstrokes produced 18 winners. And, wait for it, no double faults from the Brit. A good day's work, you could say.


    Tom Lee on Twitter: "Brilliant performance by Heather Watson - the first Brith through to the second round of the French Open."

    GAME, SET AND MATCH- Vesnina 2-6 4-6 Watson

    Watson, opting for variety, attempts a drop shot which bounces just short of the net. Undeterred, though, she battles back to 30-30 and in a blink of an eye we're at match point as Vesnina carelessly nets. Sloppy. Watson lunges from tramline to tramline, pouncing on every shot Vesnina has to offer, until the Russian can take no more and lazily plonks a backhand into the net. Impressive stuff from the Brit who celebrates with a yelp of delight.

    *Vesnina 2-6 4-5 Watson

    Pressure? What pressure! "Over to you Miss Vesnina," says Watson as she skips back to her seat after an accomplished hold to love. "This would be a fully justified victory," says Mike Dickson on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.


    Watson prowling like a lioness on Court Six, which is full to the brim and plenty of Brits there too, I'm sure, hoping to witness the British number three reach the second round for the second year on the trot. Watson races ahead at 0-30 but Vesnina overpowers her opponent to win four points in succession so we are all square. Will Watson regret not making the most of her opportunities during this set?

    *Vesnina 2-6 3-4 Watson

    Oh no, two break points for Vesnina in what has been an unpredictable passage of play. Hold tight, everyone, hold tight... Too late, Watson nets a forehand at 15-40 so the Russian once again has a chance to level matters.

    Vesnina 2-6 2-4 Watson*

    Vesnina leaves the door ajar for Watson at 15-30 and it's now wide open after another lazy forehand from the Russian's racquet gifts the Briton two break points. Oof! Fortune favours the Russian again with a net cord bouncing her way, but Vesnina's double-handed backhand can only tamely find the net and Watson now has a clear lead.

    *Vesnina 2-6 2-3 Watson

    Vesnina's tame return can only find the tape and Watson, her visage glistening with sweat, purposefully trots back to her seat for a deserved sip of water after a comfortable hold.

  88. 1111: 

    Around the grounds, sixth seed David Ferrer takes the first set 6-3 against Lukas Lacko of Slovakia, but eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic looks in trouble after dropping the opener 6-3 to Sam Querrey of the United States. No such problems for Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, seeded fourth, as she beats 16-year-old Australian qualifier Ashleigh Barty 6-1 6-2. Number 14 seed Francesca Schiavone, the 2010 champion, leads Kimiko Date-Krumm by a set and a break.

    Vesnina 2-6 2-2 Watson*

    "Come on!" cries Watson as she bashes a forehand winner down the line and the Brit has double break points. The Russian restores parity, however, and has Watson singing to her tune from the back of the net, moving the Brit to and fro, before drilling a forehand winner down the line. Another roar, accompanied by clenched fist this time, from Watson as she earns her third break point - and a fabulous bit of play from the Brit, who hunts down Vesnina's drop shot and responds with a irretrievable acute volley.

    *Vesnina 2-6 2-1 Watson

    Watson has been working on her serve with coach Mauricio Hadad in recent weeks - slightly elevating the elbow position - and it had appeared to be paying off until this game. A whip-cracked forehand into the corner from Vesnina takes us to 30-30 and a fortuitous net cord earns the Russian her first break point - the only time she's won more than a point against the Watson serve. Watson's response is to unleash two deep venomous bullets, but in a blink of an eye Vesnina conjures another break point at advantage and the Brit crumbles after a lengthy baseline battle. "No need to panic," says Mike Dickson on BBC Radio 5 live.

    Vesnina 2-6 1-1 Watson*

    The under-pressure Vesnina forcing things a tad out there and plonks a forehand into the tape for break point to Watson. The Brit allows her opponent to wriggle free from her grasp, though, as a wild looping forehand lets Vesnina off the hook and we're all square again.

    *Vesnina 2-6 0-1 Watson

    Superb first set from Watson, who won all her points when the first serve landed safely and two aces being the cherry on the top of an impressive display. Watson's fine form continues into the second set with another trouble-free hold. Pretty easy playing on clay, isn't it?


    Dom Breslin on Twitter: "Super set of Tennis from @HeatherWatson92. On this form she could give Goerges a real battle in the next round."

    Daniel P Miller on Twitter: "Good job by Heather so far."

    GAME AND FIRST SET- Vesnina 2-6 Watson*

    Hello! A double break and the opening set for Watson. Vesnina creaking like an old ship and double faults to gift the game to the 20-year-old Watson. "She's looking very good for the second round at the moment," says Russell Fuller on BBC Radio 5 live extra.

    *Vesnina 2-5 Watson

    Three or four more Union Jacks scattered around Court Six now, although there are plenty of empty seats to be seen. Watson rewarding her faithful followers with an accomplished service game, the Brit - resplendent in a turquoise skirt and a vest top of such a dazzling array of colours that Picasso I'm sure would have been proud of the design. Watson varying play nicely, forcing her opponent forwards and Vesnina can only tamely plonk her response into the net

    Vesnina 2-4 Watson*

    Vesnina glances to the ground in despair, perhaps looking for answers as to why her forehand is malfunctioning. The sliding Watson nets a forehand to the tape, though, for a hold to 30 for the Russian.

    *Vesnina 1-4 Watson

    Watson's athleticism on the crushed brick forcing Vesnina on the backfoot and the Russian's groundstrokes are lacking accuracy. A fabulous lob from Watson drops on the line, leaving Vesnina scrambling in vain, and it's an impressive hold to love.

    Vesnina 1-3 Watson*

    Watson's potent backhand working wonders, one down the line and the other a thumping crosscourt winner, sees the Brit motor to 15-30. Vesnina recovers, but Watson ratchets another backhand winner into the far corner of the Russian's backhand for deuce. The Russian has lost in the first round of nine of the last 10 Grand Slam events and now faces break point here after a wayward backhand. A terrific return from Watson then forces Vesnina to drag a forehand wide and the Brit has her nose in front!

    *Vesnina 1-2 Watson

    This is good from Watson; an ace and a crunching crosscourt backhand winner takes her to 30-15. A Vesnina return then sails beyond the baseline before the Brit brings matters to a close with a crisp ace down the middle. Tres bien.

    Vesnina 1-1 Watson*

    Watson's opponent today is 25-year-old right-hander Elena Vesnina, ranked 83 in the world. The pair met two years ago on the clay in Charleston where the Russian prevailed in straight sets. All history now though, let's get back to the present. Not a single point dropped yet as Watson's forehand sinks into the net and it's a hold to love.

    *Vesnina 0-1 Watson

    An impressive opening service game for Watson as she holds to love. The Brit had to squint to avoid the sun as she tossed the ball high for the serves during that game. "She'll be very happy with that," says Mike Dickson on BBC Radio 5 live.

  102. 1013: 

    Watson chomping on a banana and sipping some water before gambolling onto the court for the start of play. A Union Jack flag being waved by three Watson fans on Court Six. I'm just assuming they're Watson fans. The Brit to serve first...


    BBC tennis correspondent Jonathan Overend on Twitter at Roland Garros: "LIVE NOW!!! @BBC5LSX French Open Tennis: Heather Watson v Elena Vesnina. @sportsworldruss @Mike_Dickson_DM @nicklester in the box."

  104. 1006: 

    Time to turn our attention to British number three Heather Watson who is on Court Six as I type, jigging about at the net for the coin toss. The world number 109 enjoys playing in Paris, twelve months ago becoming the first British woman for 17 years to win a match in the main draw. "I love playing on clay," says the 20-year-old, who is certainly the best equipped British female to get to grips the unique demands of the surface. The confident Watson says her serve has improved and believes changing the tension on the racquet by 5lbs will make a "big difference".

  105. 0959: 

    On Day Two we nearly witnessed a shock which would have caused women's tennis' tectonic plates to vigorously wobble and shake. Victoria Azarenka survived her major scare against Italian Alberta Brianti, but will any of the big names crumble today? Let me know your predictions for potential pitfalls. Could Eleni Daniilidou upset Wozniacki? You know how to get involved by now, right? Ok, I'll remind you. You can tweet me aimee_lou_lewis using the hashtag #bbctennis or send over a text TENNIS to 81111

  106. 0958: 

    In my enthusiasm for all things British tennis, I have neglected to mention that Nadal, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova make their 2012 French Open bows. Defending champion Nadal is third on Court Philippe Chatrier against Italy's Simone Bolelli. The in-form Serena, who plays home favourite Virginie Razzano, follows the Spaniard, while Sharapova is second on Suzanne Lenglen against Alexandra Cadantu. There are plenty of other familiar names in action too: Richard Gasquet, Francesca Schiavone, Janko Tipsarevic and Caroline Wozniacki to name but four.

  107. 0952: 

    The two other Brits in the draw today are Heather Watson and Anne Keothavong. Gurnsey's Watson plays Elena Vesnina at 10:00 BST on Court Six, while Keothavong is third on the same court against Melinda Czink. All three matches involving the Britons will be on BBC 5 live Sports Extra from 10:00 BST. It is going to be a wonderful day! No, really, it will be.

  108. 0949: 

    British tennis' head boy Andy Murray gets his quest for an elusive maiden Grand Slam underway, but the expectations on the 25-year-old's broad Scottish shoulders have dimmed somewhat. In part because of the which flared up during his third-round defeat by Richard Gasquet at the Italian Open. And, of course, no-one realistically expects the Brit to aim a slingshot right between the eyes of the game's prefects, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, both of whom are bidding to carve their names in the history books. Or do you? [Puts fingers on chin in thinking pose.] What are Murray's chances on clay this year, you tell me. Get your fingers tweeting BBC Sport, using the hashtag #bbctennis or text TENNIS to 81111. Please.

  109. 0944: 

    Ladies and gentlemen, a very good morning to you. Today is officially* the first day of what promises to be a great British sporting summer. Call it hyperbole if you so wish, I won't be offended, but we have three Britons competing on the third day of the French Open so let's make the most of it because it might not happen again until, well, at least next year.

    * Only according to me.

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