Schiavone Impresses In Strasbourg
Published May 22, 2012 11:31
STRASBOURG, France - Francesca Schiavone is an old hand when it comes to peaking for the majors. And with just five days to go until the start of the French Open, she appears to be running into top form right on cue.
A 61 62 win over Alexandra Cadantu in the first round of the Internationaux de Strasbourg on Tuesday signaled a welcome return to form for Schiavone, who has had a torrid time of things this spring; just one win in seven matches on her favored terre battue has seen the Italian slip out of both the Top 10 and the Roland Garros reckoning.
However, against Cadantu, she looked anything but a spent force, taking advantage of the slow conditions to manipulate the ball and her opponent at will in a 70-minute clay court masterclass.
"I'm feeling good here in Strasbourg," Schiavone said. "For me, the conditions are very good. The court is slow, the ball is not flying too much and it helps me to move my opponent around.
"I haven't been playing my best for a while. So today it was really important that I felt physically and mentally strong out there. At this moment, it's also important for me to play matches and particularly here where the conditions are very similar to Paris."
Meeting Schaivone in the last 16 will be Mirjana Lucic, after the qualifier rallied from a set and 5-3 down to defeat Anne Keothavong, 26 75 64. Also progressing was fellow qualifier Alexandra Panova, who took out No.5 seed Mona Barthel, 63 76(7).
Barthel was not the only seeded casualty on Day 2. No.6 seed Marina Erakovic and No.9 Aleksandra Wozniak suffered straight set defeats to Ayumi Morita and Shahar Peer, while an ankle injury forced No.3 Maria Kirilenko to retire against Sloane Stephens.
There was better news for No.4 seed Anabel Medina Garrigues, though, who won her rain delayed match with Anna Tatishvili, 75 46 61. Also advancing to the second round were Lucie Hradecka, Alizé Cornet, Virginie Razzano, Timea Babos and Johanna Larsson.