No. 1 Davenport, Defending Champ Myskina Highlight Day 1 at French Open

Posted on May 23, 2005

Like men's No. 1 Roger Federer, women's No. 1 Lindsay Davenport has yet to have career success at the French Open. And if Davenport's French Open preparation this year is any indication, 2005 will be no different.

Adverse to spending weeks in Europe prior to the French, this year Davenport played only two American claycourt events in April, winning Amelia Island then retiring with injury against Justine Henin-Hardenne in Charleston.

"It's just not fun for me to be in a small (European) city on my own anymore," Davenport told ESPN earlier in the clay season. "There's not a lot going on, and I get a little irritable. At this point in my career, I don't see a reason to be grinding in Europe. I've tried playing Berlin and Rome, and it didn't matter. I'll stay home, get in shape and once I reach Paris -- a city I love -- I'll be excited about playing."

Davenport's inactivity has left her ripe for the plucking by Maria Sharpaova, who can take over No. 1 during the fortnight in Paris.

Sharapova, who is at her worst on the slow red clay with her one-dimensional flattish-topspin game, had a chance to take No. 1 in her last event at Berlin but was stopped by Swiss Patty Schnyder.

"I've said it before, there's no rush," Sharapova said of becoming No. 1 after the loss in Berlin. "I'm not disappointed. I'd rather play better at a Grand Slam. I'm just going to work on things next week and hopefully be fresh and ready for Roland Garros."

After the win Schnyder was quick to point out the Russians problems on the dirt.

"I think it's her weakest surface," Schnyder said. "I was the dominant player. I move better on a claycourt than she does."

Defending champ Anastasia Myskina, sloughing through her season with a bad shoulder, revealed Sunday that her troubles have had more to do with her mother being ill, possibly from cancer.

Joining Davenport and Myskina on court Monday among the highlighted are former champ Mary Pierce, former No. 1s Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters, and last year's runner-up Elena Dementieva.

The full list of competitors on court Monday for the women are (1) Davenport vs. Srebotnik, (5) Myskina vs. Sanchez Lorenzo, (21) Pierce vs. Douchevina, (11) Venus vs. Marrero, (14) Clijsters vs. Tu, (25) Safina vs. Razzano, (4) Dementieva vs. Strycova, Loit vs. Schaul, (19) Asagoe vs. Schruff, (8) Schnyder vs. Cho, Bondarenko vs. Karatantcheva, Birnerova vs. Kirilenko, (31) Sprem vs. Camerin, (27) Frazier vs. Shaughnessy in an all-American, Cervanova vs. Nakamura, (9) Zvonareva vs. Meusburger, (20) Hantuchova vs. Krajicek, Domachowska vs. Cohen-Aloro, Kostanic vs. Tanasugarn, Ferguson vs. Diaz-Oliva, Perry vs. Parra Santonja, Perebiynis vs. Gagliardi, Morigami vs. Haynes, Zuluaga vs. Prusova, Chladkova vs. Castano, Kloesel vs. Santangelo, Mamic vs. Raymond, Panova vs. C.Fernandez, (18) Farina Elia vs. Kremer, (32) Pennetta vs. Craybas, Andrieux vs. Peng, and (16) Likhovtseva vs. Fedak.