Roland Garros Day 2 Preview
Published May 27, 2012 10:40
Monday, First Round
Court Philippe Chatrier
 Li Na (CHN #7) vs. Sorana Cirstea (ROU #43)
Head-to-head: Li leads 1-0
Li Na begins her French Open defense with a match against one of her victims from last year's title run, Sorana Cirstea. On that occasion, Cirstea managed to pick up just four games, but thanks to a number of encouraging performances on the clay - including wins over Marion Bartoli and Jelena Jankovic - she will be confident of giving a better account of herself this time.
Li, though, has also been impressing on the dirt in recent weeks, reaching the last eight in Stuttgart and Madrid before coming within a whisker of winning in Rome. Both players like to play on the front foot and the outcome on Philippe Chatrier may well hinge not only on who manages to impose themselves early on in the rallies, but also who can keep their unforced error count to a minimum.
Court Suzanne Lenglen
[Q] Karolina Pliskova (CZE #122) vs.  Marion Bartoli (FRA #8)
Head-to-head: first meeting
It has been 12 long years since a Frenchwoman last hoisted the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen aloft on the second Saturday in Paris, with many a great champion suffocating underneath the weight of expectation in the intervening period. Shouldering the nation's hopes this time around will be Marion Bartoli, France's sole representative in the Top 50.
While Bartoli arrives at her home major a little short on form - she lost early in Stuttgart, Madrid, Rome and Brussels - the draw has been kind, placing her in one of the less hazardous quarters. First up is the talented but inexperienced Karolina Pliskova. After coming through three rounds of qualifying just to make the main draw, Pliskova is certainly battle hardened, but with experience, power and the crowd all favoring her opponent her French Open debut is likely to be brief.
Around the grounds…
World No.1 Victoria Azarenka kicks off her quest for back-to-back majors against Alberta Brianti on Chatrier, while other seeds in action include Agnieszka Radwanska, Sabine Lisicki and Dominika Cibulkova.
For more on today's matches, see our Match Notes in the Press Center.