Serena Williams Struggles, Others Cruise at French Open
World No. 1 Serena Williams was admittedly shaky in her opener on Monday at the French Open, struggling past Swiss Stefanie Voegele 7-6(2), 6-2 to move into the second round.
“I definitely didn’t feel good about it,” Serena said of the match. “At least I won. I think I’m still in the tournament. That’s what matters…I was practicing so well, and I’m doing so well in practice, and it just didn’t work for me today.”
Other Top 10-seeded winners Monday were (3) Caroline Wozniacki, (4) Jelena Jankovic, (5) Elena Dementieva, (7) Samantha Stosur, and (8) Agnieszka Radwanska, all recording either a 6-0 or 6-1 set victory en route to straight-set wins.
After her win, the world No. 3 Wozniacki got into it with the media, who questioned why she was playing so many tournaments heading into the French if she had a bad ankle.
“Well, you know, there are some rules on the WTA Tour, and we have to follow those rules,” Wozniacki said. “Maybe it would have been better if I could have taken a few weeks off, but those are the rules, and I did what I had to do…It’s not just a fine [for skipping tournaments]. It’s also commitment tournaments, zero pointers. Yeah, some other things that plays in mind, and if you read the rules, you’ll know. I think we should talk about other things. About my match today, maybe.”
Every other seeded player in action won Monday in (11) Li Na, (17) Francesca Schiavone who needed three sets to beat Russian Regina Kulikova, (24) Lucie Safarova who cruised past Jelena Dokic, (27) Alona Bondarenko who came from a set down to defeat Russian Vera Dushevina, (28) Alisa Kleybanova, (31) Alexandra Dulgheru who topped Lucie Hradecka in three, and (32) Kateryna Bondarenko.
Unseeded winners of interest were Ana Ivanovic topping Taipei’s Chang Kai-Chen 6-3, 6-3, and Spain’s Anabel Medina Garrigues continuing Melanie Oudin’s first-round losing streak.
The former No. 1 Ivanovic, although a past champion, says she still battled nerves in her opener.
“To win here the first match was lots of nerves and it was a little bit difficult also to play someone I never seen play before,” Ivanovic said. “So it was a lot of nervousness involved, but very happy to get through that. Actually, you know, even though I didn’t think the match was really that good, I felt on my groundstrokes I was striking the ball well.”
Highlights for Tuesday in Paris are tournament favorite (22) Justine Henin vs. Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova, (9) Dinara Safina vs. Kimiko Date Krumm, (12) Maria Sharapova vs. Ksenia Pervak in an all-Russian, France’s Alize Cornet vs. (29) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, and Vania King vs. Bethanie Mattek-Sands in an all-”B” squad all-American.
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