Roland Garros Day 1 Preview
Published May 26, 2012 09:45
Sunday, First Round
Court Philippe Chatrier
Paula Ormaechea (ARG #120) vs. Venus Williams (USA #52)
Last year, an abdominal injury kept Venus Williams out of Roland Garros for the first time since she debuted here in 1997. But her wealth of experience surely makes her a strong favorite in her opener. She is the leader among active players for most Grand Slam matches played - 256 - and French Open matches played - 54. Also, she is 51-3 in first round matches at majors, having won 20 straight and nine straight at Roland Garros. She has made the quarterfinals in three of her four events since returning from a seven month absence caused by Sjögren's syndrome in March. Nineteen-year-old Argentine Paula Ormaechea had her best career outing in Bogotá earlier this year, making the quarterfinals. This is her second career Grand Slam appearance, having beaten Simona Halep en route to the second round of January's Australian Open. If Williams advances, a potential blockbuster second round clash with World No.3 Agnieszka Radwanska looms.
Elena Baltacha (GBR #68) vs.  Samantha Stosur (AUS #6)
Head-to-head: Stosur leads 2-1
Other than her title at the 2011 US Open, Samantha Stosur's best two Grand Slam results have occurred in Paris - a run to the final in 2010 and the semifinals in 2009. Her 2012 clay court season has been highlighted by a semifinal showing in Charleston and quarterfinal appearances in Stuttgart and Madrid. Grand Slam openers can prove tricky for the Aussie, though, as she is 21-14 all-time in them. Fellow 28-year-old Elena Baltacha is the highest-ranked Brit on the WTA. She came out on top in one of her encounters with Stosur and split sets in one of her losses, however, all three meetings occurred on grass.
Court Suzanne Lenglen
[Q] Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino (ESP #135) vs.  Ana Ivanovic (SRB #14)
Ana Ivanovic has fond memories in Paris, netting her lone major here in 2008 - after which she rose to World No.1 - and making a run to the final in 2007. Although she fell as low as No.65 since, Ivanovic has shown signs of her previous form recently. She was a semifinalist earlier this season in Indian Wells and achieved her highest ranking since October 2009 in rising to No.13 earlier this month. Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino captured her first career title earlier this year in Bogotá, but has failed to win a main draw match since. Her second-best result also occurred on clay, a quarterfinal outing in Marbella in 2011.
Also on court...No.26 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, champion here in 2009 and runner-up in 2006, takes on Mirjana Lucic. No.10 seed Angelique Kerber plays her first match as a Top 10 player against qualifier Zhang Shuai.