Bad weather keeps Swiss off court at Roland Garros

Roland Garros Keystone

Switzerland's top tennis players are hoping for clearer skies over Roland Garros in Paris, following Tuesday's washout in the French Open. Three Swiss players have still to play their first round matches after all games were cancelled.

This content was published on May 30, 2000 - 19:55

The heavy rain washed out an entire day's playing at the French Open, forcing the postponement of 64 first round matches.

Three Swiss players were forced to contemplate their impending matches for a little longer. George Bastl won't have enjoyed the delay: he's facing probably the toughest challenge against Russia's Marat Safin.

His compatriot, Marc Rosset, is due to take on Byron Black of Zimbabwe, while in the women's game, Miroslava Vavrinec takes on Rossana de los Rios of Paraguay.

The world number one, Switzerland's Martina Hingis, was fortunate enough to have played her first round match on Monday, when she defeated Belgium's Sabine Appelmans, 6-0, 6-4.

The 19 year-old Swiss star lost only eight points in the first set to the Belgian, and won the match in 52 minutes.

Hingis has made no secret of her ambition to win the only Grand Slam trophy she has not yet won.

Having reached the finals in Paris on two occasions already, no one doubts that she can do it. However, her petulant behaviour at last year's final, when she lost to Germany's Steffi Graf, is also still fresh in the memory.

Hingis took the first set and was leading two-nil in the second when she lost a disputed call. After that, her game seemed to fall to pieces and she lost 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.

Hingis was not the only Swiss success story on the first day of the French hard court tournament.

There was a surprise victory for Emmanuelle Gagliardi. Unfortunately, it came at the expense of fellow Swiss, Patty Schnyder, as the two were drawn against each other in the first round.

Schnyder was the Swiss miss who missed out. The country's number two seed was beaten 6-3, 6-4 by her Federation cup team-mate.

In the men's game, Michel Kratochvil won his first match in a Grand Slam tournament. He beat the US player, Justin Gimelstob, in a tough-fought match.

The Swiss Davis Cup team player took the opening set 6-4 before losing the second in a tie-break 6-7. But he bounced back to take the next two sets 6-3, 6-1 to book his place in the next round.

The 20-year old from Berne had to make it through three qualifying rounds last week before his match with Gimelstob, who's ranked 40 places higher in the ATP listings at 92.

Kratochvil will now face the Bulgarian, Orlin Stanoytchev, in the second round.

Roger Federer is also through to the second round after defeating Australia's Wayne Arthurs - also in four sets.

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