Two lower seeded players were ousted on a snoozer of an opening day on the women’s side at the French Open.
No. 16 seed and former No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo continued her struggles at her homecountry Slam, meekly exiting to Germany’s Anna-Lena Groenefeld 6-4, 6-3. Mauresmo seemed to be back on form after earlier in the year winning the Paris-indoor title.
Kazakhstan’s 21-year-old Yaroslava Shvedova orchestrated the other upset, outlasting No. 19 Kaia Kanepi 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-2.
Seeded winners were defending champ and No. 8 seed Ana Ivanovic, struggling through a win over Sara Errani with a 7-6(3), 6-3 scoreline; No. 9 Victoria Azarenka topping Roberta Vinci 6-4, 6-2; No. 11 Nadia Petrova overpowering American wildcard Lauren Embree 6-1, 6-2; No. 25 Na Li beating Marta Domachowska 6-4, 6-2; No. 27 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova defeating Ioana Raluca Olaru 6-3, 6-2; and No. 32 Iveta Benesova winning over Julia Goerges when she retired at 7-5, 4-1.
Ivanovic has had a difficult 12 months since winning last year’s french title, suffering a thumb injury which led to a bout of self-doubt.
“I was very happy to be back on the center court,” said Ivanovic, who did not look particularly strong. “I was surprised how many people were there supporting us. It was great to see. I just enjoy competing out there…I kept my composure even when I was making some mistakes. I had to work my way into the match and I’ll have to work my way through the tournament.”
Timea Bacsinszky beat Emilie Loit, who then announced that the French Open would be her last tournament.
“Roland Garros is the perfect place to finish my career, a tournament that has always been my favorite,” Loit said. “I’m proud of what I’ve done. My win in Acapulco is probably my best memory.”
Matches to watch on Monday include world No. 1 Dinara Safina debuting against Brit Anne Keothavong, veteran Ai Sugiyama vs. Strasbourg title winner Aravane Rezai, (3) Venus Williams vs. Bethanie Mattek-Sands in an all-American, Anastasiya Yakimova vs. the unseeded back-from-injury Maria Sharapova, a tough opener in Russian Vera Dushevina vs. (10) Caroline Wozniacki, (14) Flavia Pennetta vs. U.S. breakout player Alexa Glatch, (20) Dominika Cibulkova vs. Warsaw runner-up Alona Bondarenko, and a name game face-off in Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova vs. Spain’s Lourdes Dominguez Lino.
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