Samantha Stosur advances
PARIS -- Samantha Stosur, the 2010 French Open runner-up, waited 2½ hours to play because of rain, then quickly won her opening match at Roland Garros.
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The Australian swept the first nine games Tuesday and drubbed 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm 6-0, 6-2.
Play was delayed at the start on a 55-degree afternoon, and when the rain finally stopped, Stosur was ready. Playing on cozy Court 1, nicknamed "the bullring," Stosur dominated with her strong serve and pinpoint groundstrokes, repeatedly skipping shots just inside the lines.
Rain returned at midafternoon, prompting another delay.
"I was happy to get out there and start," she said. "It was spitting a little bit when we went out there. You think, 'Oh, are we going to start or are we not?' Lucky for me I was able to finish the match before this last downpour came."
Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka's match against Elena Vesnina was among 11 first-round matches postponed. They won't begin until at least Wednesday, three days after some players were already into the second round.
The rain, which the forecast also calls for on Wednesday, sets up a situation where Azarenka, for example, would need to win seven matches across 11 days to take home the trophy, while 2002 champion Serena Williams -- who got to begin the tournament Sunday and is supposed to play in the second round Wednesday -- would have her seven matches spread over 14 days if she goes the distance.
The ninth-seeded Stosur's best showing at Roland Garros was three years ago, when she lost in the final to Francesca Schiavone. She won the U.S. Open in 2011 but this year has been hampered by a right calf injury and has yet to reach a semifinal.
Stosur said she's now feeling 100 percent and hoping for a good run in Paris.
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"The first hurdle is done, but there are many, many more ahead of me," she said. "I have to stay on track, but I think this was a very good start."
Date-Krumm, who won the Strasbourg doubles title last week, is the third-oldest woman to play in the French Open. When she made her Roland Garros debut in 1989, nearly half the players in this year's women's draw had not yet been born.
She said she didn't play any singles matches on clay leading up to Roland Garros because the surface is her weakest, and while she had low expectations against Stosur, she felt she played better toward the finish.
"I enjoy it a little bit in the end of the second set," she said. "My tennis, it was not so bad. Stosur is so strong, and she's specialist on the clay. ... I'm already focused on the grass-court season."
After 90 minutes of play, the rain returned. Soggy fans huddled in corridors and formed long lines at the gourmet coffee, hot dog and waffle stands.
Last week, tournament officials said they would move ahead with plans to build a retractable roof over center court, despite a judicial ruling in March that put the project on hold. The roof would be completed in 2018 as part of a $440 million renovation project at Roland Garros.
The men's final last year between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal was halted because of rain in the fourth set, forcing an overnight suspension and the completion of the tournament on a Monday. It was the first time in 39 years the French Open didn't finish on time.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press
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