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French Open finally underway

28 May 2013, 16:16

Paris - Play finally got underway at the French Open after light rain delayed the start of first-round action on Tuesday with impatient spectators blocked from the Roland Garros courts on yet another gloomy Parisian day.

The sun made a brief appearance on Monday as all matches went to completion, but the expected return of rain forced organisers to delay the start of play by more than one hour, with no tie starting before 13:30.

Rain is forecast during the afternoon, with the temperature expected to barely reach 16 degrees Celsius.

Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli, the 13th seed, opened proceedings on Court Philippe Chatrier against Belarussian Olga Govortsova with world number one Novak Djokovic scheduled next against Belgium's David Goffin.

Spectators get a total refund if less an hour is played, while 50 percent of ticket costs are reimbursed if play lasts between one and two hours.

No reimbursement is made if at least two hours of tennis are played.

The Roland Garros centre court will be covered by a retractable roof by 2018.

The Australian Open and Wimbledon both have a sliding roof over its main showcourt.

- Reuters


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