40 LOVE Moments: The First Sunday Start
Published May 26, 2013 12:00
PARIS, France - It was seven years ago when the French Open made history with its Sunday start - the first ever Sunday start at a Grand Slam. And just like this year, it had a star-studded line-up.
The most talked about match of the day was Maria Sharapova's win over Mashona Washington, mainly because it almost ended up as a loss - seeded No.4, Sharapova had to fight back from 5-2 down in the third set, as well as save three match points a few games later down 5-4, to make it through.
Sharapova had an injury cloud hovering over her coming into the tournament, leaving her a little bit vulnerable to an upset - she was downplaying expectations in her pre-tournament press in Paris.
"I do not think I will be able to perform as well as I would like," the Russian said. "I haven't played a tournament before coming here and haven't trained very much. I'm hoping for a few miracles."
At the end of the day - or the match, more like - Sharapova did end up getting that wish.
In a very tough first round draw, Dinara Safina beat Vera Zvonareva, 63 75, twice battling back from a break down in the second set. Safina was the No.14 seed and Zvonareva unseeded - little could they have expected that a few years later they would peak at No.1 and No.2 in the world, respectively.
"I'm starting to be a little more calm this year, and I know what I'm doing on the court a little more too," Safina said afterwards. "I'm trying to play focused, from the first point to when I shake hands."