Russian players Svetlana Kuznetsova and Dinara Safina advanced to the second round of the French Open today before rain again disrupted play at Roland Garros.
The start of play was delayed by 2 hours, 50 minutes. Fourth-seeded Kuznetsova defeated Aiko Nakamura of Japan 6-2, 6-3 before the rain returned.
"I was first. I was lucky with that," said Kuznetsova, the 2004 U.S. Open champion. "I get in my match, so I have the rest of the day to relax, to take it easy, and tomorrow I practice and get prepared for my next match."
Safina, seeded 13th, defeated Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine 6-1, 6-3.
"I'm really happy that I could go through in two sets, especially before the rain started," said Safina, who missed the Italian Open with a back injury.
Each of the first three days of the French Open have been affected by rain, but today's weather was the worst. It led to the postponement of at least 20 matches, including top-seeded Maria Sharapova's encounter against Evgeniya Rodina.
Later today, Rafael Nadal was scheduled to begin his quest for a fourth straight French Open title against Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil. Nikolay Davydenko won the first two sets of his match before play was halted early in the third, and Lleyton Hewitt and 2003 champion Juan Carlos Ferrero were scheduled to play later in the day.
On the women's side, two-time Grand Slam champion Amelie Mauresmo was in the second set against Olga Savchuk on center court when the rain returned.
On Monday, Roger Federer added another win to his already burgeoning clay-court record this season.
Federer improved to 16-3 on clay in 2008 by beating Sam Querrey of the United States 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in the first round. Federer is attempting to become only the sixth man to complete a career Grand Slam.
"I've played well all clay-court season long," said the top-ranked Federer, who is 27-7 overall this year. "Didn't have many hiccups really, and I have plenty of matches. That was my goal as well."
Federer came into the French Open with only one title this year, which he won on clay.
His seven losses are more than he had for the entire season in 2004, '05 or '06.
No. 8 Venus Williams joined sister Serena in the second round, completing her win just before play was suspended Monday. The eight-time Grand Slam champion overcame a second-set lapse to beat Tzipora Obziler of Israel 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.
"It's nice to have a quick match but it's nice to have a challenge also," said Venus Williams, who had eight double-faults. "I'm glad at the end that I figured it out."
Third-seeded Jelena Jankovic also advanced, defeating Monica Niculescu 7-6 (3), 6-2. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia, the youngest person in the singles tournament at 16, reached the second round by cruising past Maria Emilia Salerni of Argentina 6-1, 6-1.
Kuznetsova, Safina advance to second round at French Open