Nadal continues win streak at French Open to record 30 straight
PARIS: Rafael Nadal seeking a record fifth straight title, beat Teimuraz Gabashvili of Russia 6-1, 6-4, 6-2. It was his 30th consecutive win on the clay courts of Roland Garros in Paris, besting the record set by Chris Evert from 1974 and 1981.
Safina won 6-1, 6-1 over Vitalia Diatchenko, an 18-year-old Russian ranked 150 places below her countrywoman.
Safina next faces another Russian, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who defeated Julie Coin of France today.
Ivanovic beat Thailandís Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-1, 6-2. The Serb next meets No. 32-seeded Iveta Benesova.
Sharapova beat 11th-seeded Nadia Petrova 6-2, 1-6, 8-6 in another Russian match up to reach the third round at her first Grand Slam tournament since last yearís Wimbledon.
No. 9 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus also advanced, while No. 15 Jie Zheng of China lost 6-4, 6-3 to Michelle Larcher De Brito from Portugal.
Menís third seed Andy Murray struggled to beat Potito Starace in four sets.
Murray equaled his best performance in Paris by reaching the third round for the second straight year, defeating Starace of Italy 6-3, 2-6, 7-5, 6-4.
No. 7 seed Gilles Simon of France and No. 8 Fernando Verdasco of Spain both moved on in three sets.
Venus Williams trailed Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 7-6 (7-5) when play was suspended because of darkness at 8:59PM local time in Paris. The third-seeded American, who has won seven majors, is seeking her first French Open title.
Marat Safin, a former top-ranked player and Dinara Safinaís brother, played his last match at Roland Garros. The Russian, 29, lost to local favorite Josselin Ouanna 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 3-6, 10-8. Safin will retire at the end of the season, he told reporters earlier in the week.