Serena Vanquishes Voegele
Published May 24, 2010 12:00
PARIS, France - Seeking Grand Slam title No.13, Serena Williams didn't have much bad luck in the first match of her French Open campaign Monday, taking a tight first set and then cruising to beat Stefanie Voegele, 76(2) 62.
Voegele, a relative newcomer to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour who lists Williams as one of her tennis idols growing up, hung tough with the American in the first set, matching her service game for service game until the two entered a tie-break. But from there the world No.1 took over completely, and by the end of the match her numbers were shining - 28 winners, 22 errors. On clay.
"I definitely didn't feel good about it," Williams said when asked how she felt she played. "At least I won. I'm still in the tournament; that's what matters."
Williams' potential quarterfinal opponent, No.7 seed Samantha Stosur, was tested late in the day, having to rally back from a break down in the first set. But she made it out of the tough times and beat qualifier Simona Halep, 75 61.
Stosur's section is packed. Should she make the fourth round, she could play either Maria Sharapova or Justine Henin - the two former No.1s are drawn to play each other in the third round and play their first rounds Tuesday.
The other Top 8 seeds cruised, with No.3 seed Caroline Wozniacki's movement looking good during a 60 63 win over Alla Kudryavtseva; No.4 seed Jelena Jankovic beating Alicia Molik, 60 64; No.5 seed Elena Dementieva thumping Petra Martic, 61 61; and No.8 seed Agnieszka Radwanska beating British No.1 Elena Baltacha, 60 75. Read about Wozniacki's win here.
Jankovic beat Molik for the third straight time, having lost their first four meetings. The Serb's only career 60 60 loss actually came at the hands of Molik in their first meeting, and on clay too, at Amelia Island six years ago.
Dementieva's win was a good sign given her poor preparation - she won just two of five matches in the European clay court lead-up: "It was very important today to win in two sets," the Russian said. "I played three tournaments, in Rome, Madrid and Warsaw, to get matches on clay, to feel the movement. I don't think it was enough, but somehow I'm hoping to get the rhythm back.
"This is my favorite tournament. I'm not thinking about the whole tournament though - I'm just trying to take it match by match."
Also among the winners was former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic, who beat Chang Kai-Chen, 63 63. Ivanovic won this title two years ago; since then she had a well-documented decline, but this clay court season she has revived her big game and looked great against Chang, needing just 62 minutes.
"I had a lot of nerves and it was difficult to play someone I had never seen play before, but I'm very happy to be back," Ivanovic said. "I love playing on clay. I grew up on this surface. It's always fun coming back. The crowd was amazing. They gave me so much support. I do have high expectations of myself, though."