French Open

Serena buries Paris misery

2013-05-26 15:35
Serena Williams (AP Photo)

Paris - Women's top seed, 2002 champion and overwhelming favourite 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 number 80, who, until reaching the Strasbourg quarter-finals last week, had not won a match on the main tour in 2013.

VIDEO: French Open - day 1 - highlights

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 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 honour 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 number 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.

Later Sunday, Roger Federer will begin his 54th consecutive Grand Slam tournament when he faces a Spanish winning machine who, for once, is not called Rafael Nadal.

Federer, the second seed and 2009 Roland Garros champion, takes on qualifier Pablo Carreno-Busta who has made it through qualifying into his maiden Grand Slam draw.

Carreno-Busta is at 166 in the world having started at 654 in January, an ascent boosted by winning seven Futures events and an astonishing record of 53 wins in 57 matches on the circuit's third tier.

Court Suzanne Lenglen hosts two of the sports ironmen -- former world number one and double major winner Lleyton Hewitt and Spanish grinder David Ferrer.

Hewitt, 32, and at 85 in the world, has played just once on clay all season, suffering a first round exit in Houston last month.

The Australian, who first played Roland Garros in 1999, was a quarter-finalist in 2001 and 2004, but faces a tough opener against French 15th seed Gilles Simon.

Fourth-seeded Ferrer, a semi-finalist 12 months ago, plays Marinko Matosevic of Australia.

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.

Read more on:    french open  |  wta tour  |  serena williams  |  tennis

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