/ Tennis

Stosur begins French Open in style

Updated: Monday, 23 May 2011 13:24

Samantha Stosur - Through to the next round of the French Open
Samantha Stosur - Through to the next round of the French Open

Last year's runner-up Samantha Stosur began her French Open campaign in impressive fashion with a 6-2 6-3 victory over Iveta Benesova this afternoon.

The eighth seed, beaten by Francesca Schiavone in the final 12 months ago, opened proceedings at this year's tournament on Court Philippe Chatrier and needed only an hour and eight minutes to breeze into round two.

Benesova looked like she might give the Australian a real test when she broke in the opening game but Stosur responded with four games in a row and did not look back.

The 27-year-old, who will face Romania's Simona Halep in round two, said: ‘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. The conditions weren't always easy with some gusts of wind. I'm very happy.’

Jelena Jankovic, the 10th seed at Roland Garros this year, also made an impressive start, defeating Ukrainian Alona Bondarenko 6-3 6-1.

The Serb, who reached the semi-finals for the third time in her career last year, has not had a good clay-court season but she could not have asked for much better today.

Jankovic said: ‘It's never easy, especially in the first round. You have to get your rhythm and get used to the conditions. I really love playing at Roland Garros. Hopefully I can do well here again.’

Jankovic next faces Russia's Vera Dushevina, who recovered from a set down to beat former quarter-finalist Jelena Dokic 4-6 6-3 6-2. The Australian needed treatment to her hand before the start of the match and it was later revealed she had burst a blood vessel.

There were no first-round alarms for 13th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, one of only three former champions in the draw along with Schiavone and Ana Ivanovic, as she dispatched Magdalena Rybarikova 6-2 6-3.

The Russian is one of the few top players who looks completely at home on clay and it is certainly not out of the question that she could repeat her 2009 triumph.

Another seed to make progress was the highly-fancied German Julia Goerges, who recovered from a break down in the second set to beat Mathilde Johansson 6-1 6-4 in an error-strewn match.

The 17th seed possesses a real weapon in her huge forehand and can boast two wins over world number one Caroline Wozniacki on clay this season, including in the final in Stuttgart.

Last year's Wimbledon semi-finalist Tsvetana Pironkova was a 7-5 6-3 winner over Australia's Casey Dellacqua but fellow seeds Flavia Pennetta and Shahar Peer were both eliminated.

Italian Pennetta, the number 18 seed, was surprisingly beaten 6-3 2-6 6-3 by Varvara Lepchenko in the final match of the day while 19th seed Peer was dumped out 7-6 (7/4) 6-1 by Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, who last year won the prestigious clay-court event in Rome.

Tomorrow sees the top seed and defending champion make their debuts in this year's tournament, with Wozniacki taking on Kimiko Date Krumm, who at 40 is twice the Dane's age, and Schiavone meeting American teenager Melanie Oudin.

Third seed Vera Zvonareva faces Lourdes Dominguez Lino on Court Suzanne Lenglen while French favourites Marion Bartoli and Aravane Rezai are also in action.