ROLAND GARROS 2013
Raonic, Anderson Advance; Simon Edges Hewitt
by ATP Staff|
Milos Raonic will face France’s Michael Llodra in the second round at Roland Garros after breaking down late resistance from Xavier Malisse to beat the Belgian veteran 6-2, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 on Sunday in Paris.
The Canadian 14th seed fired 16 aces and won 79 per cent of points behind his first serve as he prevailed in just under two hours. Raonic is making his third appearance at Roland Garros and is looking to build on a third-round showing last year (l. to Monaco).
"I was playing really well [in the first two sets], taking advantage of the second serves," said Raonic. "I was doing things I wanted to do, and I was dictating pretty much the whole time. I can play well on clay, but I think I have changed a few things in my approach to it. It needs work, but I think it's on the right track."
Llodra defeated Belgium’s Steve Darcis 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. The 33-year-old Llodra will need to overturn a 0-3 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Raonic if he is to reach the third round in Paris for the fourth time in 14 appearances.
French No. 15 seed Gilles Simon came back to win from two sets down for the first time in his career as he battled past former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt 3-6, 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 7-5 in three hours and 19 minutes.
"I simply got back into the match by playing better," said Simon. "Unfortunately, at the end he played one more time great tennis. It's never easy to finish when you see the guy coming back 5-1, 5-2, 5-3 after a few match points. So I'm just happy that I managed to win this one."
Hewitt dominated the first two sets, but playing just his third clay-court match of the season, could not maintain his level. Simon seized the momentum after winning a tight third set and quickly drew level before establishing a 5-0 lead in the final set.
Hewitt staged a fightback, saving two match points in the eighth game as he eventually levelled at 5-5. Simon regained his composure, though, and won the last two games to claim his fourth win in four meetings with Hewitt.
"It's disappointing, but I obviously didn't come here with massive expectations," said Hewitt. "He's a quality player as well. Would have been nice to get win, and then the draw opens up a little bit as well when you take a seed spot. So that's frustrating. I was happy for the most part with my ball striking, though."
South Africa’s Kevin Anderson recorded his 23rd win of the season as he dismissed Ukrainian Illya Marchenko 6-3, 7-5, 6-4. The 23rd seed, a finalist in Sydney (l. to Tomic) and Casablanca (l. to Robredo) this year, could meet Raonic in the third round and trails the Canadian 0-1 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.