French Open: Sam Stosur beats Iveta Benesova in opener

French Open

Venue:
Roland Garros, Paris
Date:
22 May - 5 June
Coverage:
Live on BBC Red Button/online (UK only) & text commentary (#bbctennis) on BBC Sport website from 1000 BST; daily highlights programme on BBC Two; updates & commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live/5 live sports extra
Samantha Stosur
Stosur was a semi-finalist in 2009 and the beaten finalist in 2010

Samantha Stosur began her French Open campaign with a 6-2 6-3 victory over Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic.

Eighth seed Stosur, beaten in the 2010 final by Francesca Schiavone, won in 68 minutes to seal a second-round meeting with Romanian teenager Simona Halep.

Fellow seeds Jelena Jankovic, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Julia Goerges were also victorious.

But 19th seed Shahar Peer suffered a shock first-round exit at the hands of Spain's Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.

Stosur opened proceedings on Court Philippe Chatrier and looked like she might by in for a tough contest when Benesova stuck in the opening service game.

But the 27-year-old Australian responded with four games in a row and was rarely troubled thereafter.

She has one of the best kick serves in the women's game and Benesova simply had no answer, with a single break in game six of the second set proving decisive.

"It was nice to get back out there again and play a really solid first round," said Stosur. "I thought I played really quite well today. I served quite well.

"The conditions weren't always easy with some gusts of wind. I'm very happy.

"Obviously I thought of last year's match but it was nice to get out there again and, of course, if you can play on any court here you'd want to play on that one."

Stosur will next play 19-year-old Halep after she eased past Russia's Alla Kudryavtseva 6-2 6-1, while 10th seed Jankovic dismantled Alona Bondarenko 6-3 6-1.

"It's never easy, especially in the first round," commented the three-time semi-finalist Jankovic. "You have to get your rhythm and get used to the conditions.

"Today was a little bit windy so the ball was swirling around. I just played the best I could and did my job.

"I really love playing at Roland Garros. Hopefully I can do well here again. Obviously my dream is to one day win it. I will always try my best."

Another comfortable winner was 13th seed Kuznetsova, one of only three former champions in the draw along with Francesca Schiavone and Ana Ivanovic.

The Russian dispatched Magdalena Rybarikova 6-2 6-3 and was joined in round two by 14th seed Pavlyuchenkova, a 7-5 6-3 winner against Yaroslava Shvedova, and Goerges - the highly-fancied 17th seed.

Goerges recovered from a break down in the second set to see off Mathilde Johansson 6-1 6-4, showcasing the huge forehand that has helped her post two wins over world number one Caroline Wozniacki on clay this season.

Number 32 seed Tsvetana Pironkova, a surprise semi-finalist at Wimbledon in 2010, won through 7-5 6-3 against Casey Dellacqua of Australia and will next face Argentina's Gisela Dulko following her 6-3 6-4 triumph over Irina Falconi.

However, the seeds did not have it all their own way and Peer of Israel saw her hopes extinguished at the first hurdle.

Unseeded Spaniard Martinez Sanchez, who has failed to build on her win in Rome last year, edged the first set before running away with the second to triumph 7-6 (7-4) 6-1.

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