PARIS -- A photo of Maria Sharapova graced the cover of the French Open's official daily program Tuesday, which might be considered false advertising.
That's because the No. 1-ranked woman didn't play a single point, forced by the wet weather to wait instead until at least Day 4 of the tournament to begin her quest to complete a career Grand Slam.
Rafael Nadal played all of two games of his opening match before collecting his things and trundling off center court, the start of his bid for a fourth consecutive title at the clay-court major halted by one of a series of showers.
Yes, Wimbledon has come to Roland Garros, with rain affecting action on all three days so far and allowing for less than 3 hours of play Tuesday. While the All England Club is constructing a dome over Centre Court ahead of the 2009 championship, the French tennis federation has said it might build a retractable roof by 2012.
"We definitely would like to have that," said the 22nd-seeded Mauresmo, a Frenchwoman who overcame nine double-faults and 35 total unforced errors to beat Olga Savchuk 7-5, 4-6, 6-1.
While it's too early in the tournament for too much concern about fitting everything in, players such as Sharapova or Nadal -- whose match originally was on Monday's slate before being postponed the first time, and eventually will resume at 1-1 in the first set -- already face the prospect of playing on consecutive days if they proceed through the draw.
|Rafael Nadal gets only two games into his already-delayed match. (Getty Images)|
"For Nadal, doesn't matter," said No. 4 Nikolay Davydenko, who eliminated 2002 Australian Open champion Thomas Johansson 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. "He can play today, tomorrow, after tomorrow. ... It's no problem for him."
Not surprisingly, the only five men's matches that finished were straight-set affairs.
In addition to Davydenko -- still at the center of the ATP's investigation into irregular betting patterns on a match he played in August 2007 -- and No. 9 Stanislas Wawrinka, winners included Mario Ancic and Robin Soderling.
"It's never easy, a whole day of rain," said Wawrinka, who defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-4, 6-3. "Most important is to remain calm, not to stress yourself uselessly, and to be patient."