Roland Garros Day 2 Preview

Francesca Schiavone unleashes her title defense on Monday, while French No.1 Marion Bartoli begins her campaign too.

Published May 22, 2011 11:47

Roland Garros Day 2 Preview
Kimiko Date-Krumm

Monday, First Round

Melanie Oudin (USA #88) vs. [5] Francesca Schiavone (ITA #5)
Head-to-Head: Schiavone leads 2-1
By no means the title favorite, defending champion Schiavone - who, along with Jill Craybas, is playing a WTA-leading 43rd straight major here - has nonetheless done enough in the lead-ins to deserve consideration as a contender this fortnight. Certainly there was no shame in her semifinal loss to Wozniacki in Brussels last week, which was the kind of result that could easily switch in the pressure cooker that is the second week of a Slam. But it will be fascinating to see how she kickstarts her campaign against a player who proved her ability to cause damage when she reached the quarters at Flushing Meadows in 2009. While that must seem like an eternity ago for Oudin, who is 1-8 on clay this year, she should be able to swing freely today.

[11] Marion Bartoli (FRA #11) vs. Anna Tatishvili (GEO #106)
Head-to-Head: First meeting
Talk about bad luck: after applying herself to improving her testy relationship with clay at both Premier and International events in recent weeks, French No.1 Bartoli seemed to have made a breakthrough when she reached the final at Strasbourg (which also happened to be her first WTA title bout on home soil). Alas, a left thigh strain forced the 26-year-old to retire in the second set against Andrea Petkovic on Saturday. Last on court, the schedulers have given the host nation's biggest hope as much time as possible to recover, but it remains to be seen how well she has. Thankfully she prefers to keep points short anyway, and experience should help her cause. But Tatishvili is a young talent who may have eyed her chance to make headlines.

Court 1
[1] Caroline Wozniacki (DEN #1) vs. Kimiko Date-Krumm (JPN #56)
Head-to-Head: Wozniacki leads 1-0
Wozniacki wasn't even born when Date-Krumm, now the third-oldest woman to play at Roland Garros in the Open Era, made her debut here in 1989. And the Danish world No.1 was only five when the Japanese star reached the semis in 1995. While their previous encounter was close, it was two years ago at Wimbledon, and momentum is very much on the younger player's side this time: she just won her 16th title at Brussels, the first on red clay, whereas Date-Krumm enters the tournament on a five-match losing streak. Still, Date-Krumm is always a pleasure to watch, and because Wozniacki isn't the type of player to blow opponents off court, there has to be a glimmer of hope. Question is, can a supremely fit 40-year-old outlast a supremely fit 20-year-old?

More to watch…
Aravane Rezai plays Irina-Camelia Begu first up on Lenglen, after which No.3 seed Vera Zvonareva takes on Lourdes Dominguez Lino. On Court 2, No.28 seed Daniela Hantuchova faces China's Zhang Shuai and No.9 seed Petra Kvitova tackles Hungary's Greta Arn. Agnieszka Radwanska, seeded 12th, plays Patricia Mayr-Achleitner on Court 3 while Court 8 hosts an Italian derby between two recent title winners, No.30 seed Roberta Vinci and Alberta Brianti.

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