Wednesday 21 February 2018

Tennis: Maria Sharapova’s easy win in opening round of French Open

Maria Sharapova in action against Alexandra Cadantu. Photo: AP
Maria Sharapova in action against Alexandra Cadantu. Photo: AP

MARIA Sharapova, chasing the one grand slam title to elude her, began her French Open campaign strongly on Monday with a whitewash of Romanian Alexandra Cadantu.

Former champion Francesca Schiavone and Wimbledon winnerPetra Kvitova also progressed in straight sets on another sunny, hot day at Roland Garros.

Sharapova's 48-minute win was the first 6-0 6-0 result of the tournament and took the Russian through to a meeting withJapan's Ayumi Morita.

"I am really happy with the way my preparation has been coming into this tournament," former world number one Sharapova told a news conference. "I feel like every year I have improved and I enjoy it much more."

Schiavone, the winner in 2010 and runner-up to China's Li Nalast year, enjoyed a 6-3 6-1 victory over Japan's Kimiko Date-Krumm, the third-oldest woman to play at Roland Garros in the professional era at 41.

By contrast, Kvitova found herself up against the youngest player in this year's draw, Australian wildcard Ashleigh Bartywho turned 16 last month.

The Czech, seeded fourth, won 6-1 6-2 in 54 minutes and will now play either Pole Urszula Radwanska or Frenchwoman Pauline Parmentier.

Claycourt specialist David Ferrer, a quarter-finalist twice here and the sixth seed, eased to a 6-3 6-4 6-1 victory over unheralded Slovakian Lukas Lacko.

Lacko tried to fight back towards the end, saving three breakpoints to hold serve for 4-1 in the third set, but it was already too late and he surrendered serve to the Spaniard in the seventh game to go out.

Serbian Janko Tipsarevic was briefly put off his stride when an elderly spectator had to be helped from the stands in mid-game during the third set after suffering from the heat on Court One.

The eighth seed recovered his concentration to defeat American Sam Querry 2-6 6-4 7-6 6-3 and reach the second round where he will face either compatriot Albert Ramos or FrenchmanBenoit Paire. (Additional reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Pritha Sarkar).

Source: Reuters

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