Roland Garros: Ivanovic Packs, Sharapova Marches On
Ana Ivanovic wiped her tears at the end of a three-set loss in front of the unseeded Swede Johanna Larsson who beat the former world champion 7-6, 0-6, 6-2 in the first round of the French Open.
Both players managed to hold their serve until the tie-break. Hardly did it start that Larsson took a consistent advantage she would never drop. Thus, the Swede went 5-1 adrift of the Serb who was losing her pace almost exponentially. Larsson then won the opener to three, the favorite looking in big trouble. But all of a sudden, Ivanovic, who was chasing her first title of the season, replied with a 6-0 result. So, the Serb broke the Swede three times to level the score in less than half an hour. But the unexpected was yet to come.
The first three games of the decider found both opponents going head to head, the fourth one highlighting Larsson picking an unexpected break. Thus, she went 3-1 adrift and never let Ivanovic to break her back. But on the contrary, the Swede grabbed another late break to win the last set by four games.
Said disappointed Ivanovic: “I’m very upset I lost, you know, because even though like I was injured, I felt like I was playing well. The wrist now feels good. The inflammation is gone, so I hope it’s not going to come back.” Larsson will next play Ekaterina Makarova of Russia who also needed three sets to make the progress into the next term. The Russian edged Romina Oprandi of Italy 6-4, 3-6, 6-0 and meets the Swede for the first time.
Another former world champion Maria Sharapova has advanced into the second round after easing past Mirjana Lucic 6-3, 6-0. “I was just really positive… As far as motivation, it’s really kicked in this year, and I hope I keep going with that,” said the Russian. Sharapova will next play Caroline Gracia of France who stunned Zuzana in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4.
This year’s Australian Open runner-up Li Na has come into the second term after overcoming Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of Czech Republic 6-3, 6-7, 6-3. The Chinese is expected to face Silvia Soler of Spain who also struggled against Elena Vesnina whom she edged 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Anabel Medina has set a Jarmila Gajdosova meeting after sending Corrina Dentoni home. The Spanaird ousted the Italian 7-5, 7-5, while her next opponent stunned Virginie Razzano 6-3, 6-1.
Yanina Wickmayer eliminated Romania’s Monica Niculescu 6-0, 6-3 in the first round and will play Ayumi Morita in the second term. The Japanese survived an early scare against Kristina Mladenovic who stole the opener 6-2, only to be defeated 6-4, 7-5 in the last two. This year’s Miami Masters and Marbella champion Victoria Azarenka beat Andrea Hlavackova in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3 and will next play either Pauline Parmentier or Ksenia Pervak of Russia.
Lucie Hradecka had some hard times against Anastasija Sevastova in the opening round, the Czech edging her in three sets, 6-3, 5-7, 6-1. The Hradecka will next play the winner between last week’s Strasbourg winner Andrea Petkovic and Bojana Jovanovski. On the same second half Maria Kirilenko beat Coco Vandeweghe 7-6, 6-2 in the first round, while her next opponent Chanelle Scheepers eliminated Viktoriya Kutuzova in three sets, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.
Top seed Caroline Wozniacki has also made an easy progress in Paris, crashing Kimiko Date-Krumm 6-0, 6-2. The Dane will next play Aleksandra Wozniak who upset Junri Namigata 6-1, 6-1 in the opener. This year’s Stuttgart event winner Julia Gorges defeated Mathilde Johansson 6-2, 6-4 to meet Lucie Safarova in the next term. The Czech also needed just two sets to pass Kirsten Flipkens whom she beat 6-1, 6-1.
Sara Errani and Daniela Hantuchova will also be expected to fight for a place into the third round. The Italian grabbed an hard-fought win from Christina McHale who tortured Errani throughout the entire meeting. Finally, the Italian ousted her 6-7, 6-2, 9-7. As for her next opponent, Hantuchova, winner of the 2011 Pattaya City event, eased past Shuai Zhang 6-3, 6-3.
Maria Jose Martienez provided one of the first surprises of the tournament, beating Shahar Peeer in two sets, 7-6, 6-1 to meet Rebecca Marino of Canada in the second term. Marino eliminated Kateryna Bondarenko 6-3, 6-3, but will start the next clash as second favorite. Romania’s Irina Begu and Svetlana Kuznetsova will fight for a spot into the third round. Begu has made an easy progress, beating Aravane Rezai 6-3, 6-3, while her next opponent stunned Magdalena Rybarikova 6-2, 6-3.
Marion Bartoli, who is still looking for her first success of the season, had some hard times against Anna Tatishvili in the opener. The Georgian stole the first set to one, only to lose the next two 6-2, 6-1. The French will next meet Olga Govortsova of Belarus who edged Agnes Szavay 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. Gisela Dulko is to meet Tsvetana Pironkova in the second round. The Argentine beat Irina Falconi 6-3, 6-4 in the first round, while her next opponent eliminated Casey Dellacqua 7-5, 6-3.
Samantha Stosur has made an easy progress into the next term, beating Iveta Benesova 6-2, 6-3 to meet Simona Halep in the second round. The Romanian crashed Alla Kudryavtseva 6-2, 6-2 but will start the clash as second favorite. Vera Zvonareva is to fight Sabine Lisicki in the second term. The Russian defeated Lourdes Dominguez 6-3, 6-3, while the German destroyed Akgul Amanmuradova 6-0, 6-4.
Roland Garros Prize Money:
Winner – 1,200,000 euro
Finalist – 600,000 euro
Semi finalist – 300,000 euro
Quarter finalist – 150,000 euro
R16 – 75,000 euro
R32 – 42,000 euro
R64 – 25,000 euro
R128 – 15,000 euro11