Sharapova Looks Sharper, Mauresmo Wobbles at French Open

Posted on June 1, 2006

No. 4 seed Maria Sharapova, on the verge of defeat in the first round with a twisted ankle, looked on more solid footing Wednesday with a dominant 6-4, 6-1 win over Czech Iveta Benesova to advance into third-round play.

"It was a lot better than my previous match," said Sharapova of the ankle injury that has still not healed since March in Miami. "I didn't feel like I was moving great still, being cautious with the tape on, but pain-wise it felt a lot better."

On Wednesday it was top-seeded Amelie Mauresmo's turn to struggle, with her opponent Vera Dushevina serving for the second set at 5-4 and 6-5 before the Frenchwoman prevailed 6-1, 7-6(5).

"The Frenchwoman rushed the net to force the outcome and quietened the Russian on her fourth match point after she sailed a forehand wide," detailed the official Roland Garros website.


"It was great to play today despite the conditions but I reckon I struggled with my tennis," Mauresmo said.

Other seeded winners into the third round were (7) Patty Schnyder (d. Gajdosova), (8) Svetlana Kuznetsova (d. Santangelo), (9) Francesca Schiavone (d. Muller), (11) Venus Williams (d. Laine), (14) Dinara Safina (d. Sromova, bagel in the first), (16) Nicole Vaidisova (d. Sun), (17) Flavia Pennetta (d. Flipkens 1-and-0), and (24) Katarina Srebotnik (d. Harkleroad).

Orchestrating upsets were France's Aravane Rezai (d. (22) Sugiyama from a set down), Serb Jelena Jankovic (d. (25) Bartoli 6-1 in the third), China's Na Li (d. (27) Chakvetadze), and the Ukraine's Julia Vakulenko (d. (29) Arvidsson).

Winners in all-unseeded match-ups were Aussie Alicia Molik (d. Perianu from a set down), Croat Karolina Sprem (d. Peng who retired with injury), and another unseeded Frenchwoman in 16-year-old Alize Cornet (d. Ruano Pascual 6-1 in the third).

Highlights of Thursday play include (2) Clijsters vs. Martinez Granados, the defending champ (5) Henin-Hardenne vs. Yakimova, (6) Dementieva vs. Kutuzova, (10) Myskina vs. Czink, (11) Hingis vs. Ondraskova, (13) Groenefeld vs. J.Jackson, (15) Hantuchova vs. Gagliardi, (19) Ivanovic vs. the Frenchwoman Loit, (20) Kirilenko vs. the Frenchwoman Johansson, (21) Dechy vs. Castano, (31) Peer vs. Pironkova, and in doubles the all-Navratilova match-up in (7) Huber/M.Navratilova vs. G.Navratilova/Pastikova.