PARIS - Start with this statistic on a busy, blustery day at Roland Garros: Maria Sharapova hit 17 double-faults. It bears repeating: 17.
The Russian hammered hard serves, and they sailed long. She tapped soft serves, and they landed in the bottom of the net. She played poorly enough overall to come within two points of becoming the only No. 1-seeded woman in French Open history to lose in the first round.
Sharapova regrouped in time yesterday to barely piece together a 6-1, 3-6, 8-6 victory over Evgeniya Rodina, a Russian teenager making her Grand Slam debut.
"I don't think I'd be able to get away with not playing and not serving that well with maybe a different opponent and somebody that has more experience, a top player," Sharapova said.
Her subpar showing shared top billing with the dry weather as yesterday's most noteworthy developments. After three days of rain - Sharapova was to have been on the court Tuesday - not a drop fell. That meant there were other numbers of note, if not much in the way of stunning results:
Serena Williams made it to the third round for the 33d time in 34 career Grand Slam tournaments.
Second-seeded Rafael Nadal improved to 22-0 in the French Open.
A year after American men went 0-9 in Paris, five reached the second round, and one, Wayne Odesnik, already had moved into the third.
Williams found herself trailing, 5-3, in the second set against Mathilde Johansson, a French wild-card entry who began this tournament with a 2-5 career Grand Slam record. But Williams took the next four games to end it, 6-2, 7-5.
"I haven't played my best tennis, so hopefully, the next round, I'll play better," said the No. 5-seeded Williams, who won the French Open in 2002 and is the only past champion in the women's field.
Nadal began his bid to match Bjorn Borg's four consecutive titles from 1978 to 1981 by beating qualifier Thomaz Bellucci. Rain forced them to pack up on Tuesday tied, 1-1, and Nadal stumbled at the start yesterday, getting broken to fall behind, 1-2, then again when serving for the first set at 5-3. But the Spaniard recovered nicely to win, 7-5, 6-3, 6-1.