Wawrinka prevails after rain hits French Open | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 23.05.2016
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Wawrinka prevails after rain hits French Open

The second tennis grand slam of the year has been hit by rain on its first two days. The lack of a roof continues to be a problem. Defending champion Stan Wawrinka did get on court and survived a real scare.

Rain. Rain. Rain. It is a common sight at the French Open and the start of this year's tournament has been no different.

Only a handful of matches were completed on Sunday and showers early on Monday meant the start of play was delayed on the second day as well. When action did get under way, defending men's champion Stan Wawrinka was pushed all the way by Czech Lukas Rosol but the Swiss eventually prevailed 4-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Earlier Germany's Sabine Lisicki was dumped out 6-2, 6-2 in the first round by Verónica Cepede Royg. World number 39 Annika Beck had a more productive afternoon on the clay, however, beating Ukrainian qualifier Marina Sanewska 6-1,6-2 on Court 4 to become the first German player in the second round draw.

The lack of a roof on the showcourts at Roland Garros has long been a topic of debate in Paris. Plans to redevelop the claycourt mecca and add at least one roof have been held up by endless red tape in recent years.

Wimbledon has had a roof on its Centre Court since 2009 and the US Open hopes to boast a roof on its showpiece Arthur Ashe Stadium by this year's event in August and September. Even the Australian Open has a retractable roof, although this is mainly to shield players from the immense heat rather than rain.

Germany's Benjamin Becker was one of the few to complete his opening match on Sunday but probably wishes the rain had hung around longer. The journeyman lost 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 to Russia's Andrey Kuznetsov.

Fellow German Dustin Brown was involved in a typically enthralling encounter for the charasmatic 31-year-old. He defeated Israel's Dudi Sela 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4 over two days.

Japan's Kei Nishikori was the most high profile men's player in Sunday action but the fifth seed must also come back to finish his match on Monday after taking a 6-1, 7-5, 2-1 lead over Italian Simone Bolelli.

Among the women, former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova beat Danka Kovinic 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 in her first round clash, and fellow Czech Lucie Safarova went through to round two thanks to a 6-0, 6-2 demolition of Vitalia Diatchenko.

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