Serena buries Paris misery
Updated: 2013-05-27 05:37
By Agence France-Presse in Paris (China Daily)
Top seed Serena Williams of the US reacts after a point against Georgia's Anna Tatishvili during their French Open first-round match on Sunday at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris. Patrick Kovarik / Agence France-Presse
Women's top seed, 2002 champion and overwhelming favorite Serena Williams buried the ghosts of her 2012 first round horror show to storm into the second round of the French Open on Sunday.
The 31-year-old American, bidding for a 16th Grand Slam title, suffered her worst defeat at a major in Paris 12 months ago when she was dumped out of the first round by Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano.
But on Sunday, Williams extended her current winning streak to 25, the best of her career, with a 6-0, 6-1 demolition of Georgia's Anna Tatishvili, the world No 80, who, until reaching the Strasbourg quarterfinals last week, had not won a match on the main tour in 2013.
It took Williams just 51 minutes to complete victory on a chilly Court Philippe Chatrier where the temperature hovered just above the 10-degree mark, firing 27 aces to her opponent's four.
"I am very happy, I feel very strong and I have been playing really well for the last three months," said the American, who next faces either France's Caroline Garcia or Yuliya Beygelzimer of Ukraine.
Ana Ivanovic, the 2008 champion and 14th seed, clinched a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 win over Croatia's Petra Martic.
After breezing through the opening set, the 25-year-old Serb saved three set points in the second before Martic, the world No 107 who made the last 16 in 2012, levelled the tie.
Ivanovic was 5-0 up in the decider before the nerves set in and wasted four match points.
However, she settled herself in the ninth game, taking victory after almost two hours when Martic hit long.
She will next face either France's Mathilde Johansson or Chanelle Scheepers for a place in the last 32.
"The conditions were heavy and it was cold, but it wasn't an issue. It was an up and down performance," said Ivanovic.
Italian fifth seed Sara Errani, the runner-up to Maria Sharapova last year, had the honor of being the first player to reach the second round, breezing past Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus 6-1, 6-2.
Errani needed just 54 minutes to get past world No 86 Rus, who made the fourth round in 2012, but has not won a match on the main tour this year.
The 26-year-old Errani will face highly-rated Kazakh teenager Yulia Putintseva for a place in the last 32.
"It's an important tournament, but it's only one tournament. I just try to concentrate on my tennis and not think about last year," said Errani.
In other early matches on Sunday, there were wins for Canadian 14th seed Milos Raonic and big-serving South African Kevin Anderson, the 23rd seed.
(China Daily 05/27/2013 page23)