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Rain threatens French Open washout PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 29 May 2008

AFP, PARIS - Heavy rain played havoc with the third day of the French Open on Tuesday as tournament superstars Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova kicked their heels in the locker room.

Action had been scheduled to begin at 11:00 am (0900GMT), but all courts remained covered into the early afternoon with organisers announcing that there would be no play before 1:30 pm (1130GMT).

More rain was expected throughout the day.

A total of 72 first round matches were due to be played, after rain on Monday had left only 26 of the planned 58 ties completed.

Nadal, the triple men's champion, was due to face Brazilian qualifier Thomaz Bellucci with women's top seed Sharapova to take on Russian compatriot Evgeniya Rodina.

The last time a full day's play was lost at the French Open was on the first Tuesday of the 2000 championships, the first time there had been such a washout since 1925.

The backlog was cleared the following day when 21 courts were called into action.

In 2007, only seven of 24 scheduled matches on the opening Sunday were played with the following Monday even more depressing with just seven of 64 planned first round ties completed.

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