Rain was again the dominant theme on Day 5 at Roland Garros, with nearly half of the matches scheduled either postponed or suspended in the 2013 French Open. American Bethanie Mattek-Sands scored the most high-profile win of the day, notching an upset over No. 6 seed Li Na, the 2011 French Open champ, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.
Seven-time champion Rafael Nadal, the No. 3 seed, has still played just one match. His second-round contest against Slovak Martin Klizan was postponed until Friday after both players agreed not to try to get it in Thursday night. Nadal was joined in the club of those having never left the locker room by John Isner, Richard Gasquet and Tommy Haas. The match between eighth-seeded Janko Tipsarevic and former top-10 player Fernando Verdasco was also postponed. That should be a good one Friday.
Among those who actually got to play Thursday, Nadal's primary competition for his astonishing eighth French Open title, Novak Djokovic, had a much easier time in his second-round match, beating Guido Pella, 6-2, 6-0, 6-2. Further down the men's draw, 13th-seeded Kei Nishikori needed four sets to oust Gregor Zemlja, No. 16 Philipp Kohlschreiber won in a walkover of Yen-Hsun Lu and Stanislas Wawrinka almost finished his match; he was leading Horatio Zeballos 6-2, 7-6 (7-2), 3-3.
Maria Sharapova was also just about wrapping up a victory when the final rain came down on Phillipe Chatrier Court, leading Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, 6-4, 4-2. Victoria Azarenka finished and won her match, Samantha Stosur advanced with a win over Kristina Mladenovic, Petra Kvitova won in straight sets over Shuai Peng and Melanie Oudin lost to Jie Zheng.
Friday should have an absolutely packed schedule, and the chance of rain is only 10 percent, thank heavens. American tennis fans woke up Thursday morning to a replay of Serena Williams' match from Wednesday, and they'll be clamoring for some real live tennis for a change, especially since the rain wiped out all of Bill Connelly's matches to watch from Day 5.