Despite weather, Federer, Davydenko win

Updated: June 1, 2006, 8:12 AM ET
Associated Press

PARIS -- Roger Federer was better than the weather.

On a third consecutive damp, chilly day at the French Open, the top-ranked Federer endured two rain delays while beating Alejandro Falla 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 in the second round Wednesday.

Roland Garros
AP Photo/Michel EulerPeople take shelter under an umbrella on center court as rain delays matches Wednesday at the French Open.

The two delays totaled 1 hour, 31 minutes, while the match lasted only 1 hour, 26 minutes.

"I'm happy to get through," Federer said. "It's not easy to come on and off. You always hope your game is still there and it hasn't left you."

Federer shanked forehands on two match points in the final game before closing out the victory to improve to 40-3 this year. He never lost his serve, won 55 of 68 service points and finished with 41 winners to 13 for Falla.

A Colombian ranked 139th, Falla lost in qualifying and made the draw only because another player pulled out. He now has the distinction of losing to Federer at two major events -- their only previous meeting came in the second round at Wimbledon in 2004.

Federer is bidding for his fourth consecutive Grand Slam title at the only major event he has yet to win.

"I would like to win here," he said. "The pressure is quite big. I enjoy the challenge."

Federer will next play No. 32 Nicolas Massu, who beat Max Mirnyi 6-4, 7-5, 6-4.

Temperatures were in the 50s for a second successive day, and because of rain, one match took seven hours to complete. No. 13 Nicolas Kiefer finally beat 29-year-old wild card Marc Gicquel of France 6-0, 6-1, 5-7, 3-6, 11-9.

Another Frenchman, Richard Gasquet, lost to No. 3 David Nalbandian 6-2, 3-6, 7-5, 6-0.

No. 6 Nikolay Davydenko beat the rain and became the first man to reach the third round when Flavio Saretta retired with the flu trailing 6-2, 4-1.

"I couldn't run anymore," Saretta said.

Davydenko played well from the beginning despite an 11 a.m. start.

"It looks like you're sleeping on the court the first few games because this was too early," Davydenko said.

Davydenko takes a seven-match winning streak into his next match against No. 30 Carlos Moya, the 1998 champion, who held every service game and beat Mikhail Youzhny 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

"I know that I'm not a favorite here," the 29-year-old Moya said. "That changes things for you, because you're not under so much pressure. I think I've still got good tennis to play. ... Playing Davydenko is going to show me where I stand.

"The weather completely changes the tournament. It depends on whether it's sunny, cloudy, raining," Moya said. "Now there's something that is totally unprecedented: I haven't seen the sun since I arrived."

Two more former Roland Garros champions advanced to the third round. No. 24 Juan Carlos Ferrero, the 2003 champion, eliminated Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2, 6-4, 6-2. No. 10 Gaston Gaudio, the 2004 champ, outlasted 19-year-old qualifier Evgeny Korolev 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. Korolev is the cousin of Anna Kournikova.

One seeded player on the men's side lost. No. 26 Jose Acasuso was beaten by Lukas Dlouhy 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3, 6-1.

There was a near fight at the end of No. 12 Mario Ancic's win over Paul Capdeville. Ancic was bothered by the Chilean's repeated complaints to the chair umpire, including before the postmatch handshake, and he told Capdeville so. Capdeville thought Ancic lunged at him and responded by pushing Ancic, but it ended there.

"The chair umpire favored him all the way," Capdeville said. "I was just criticizing the chair umpire, so I don't understand why [Ancic] reacted this way."

Marat Safin was fined $10,000 Wednesday for failing to hold a post-match news conference after losing in the opening round to Fernando Gonzalez.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press