Roland Garros Day 3 Preview
Published May 28, 2012 06:58
PARIS, France - First round action draws to a close on Tuesday, with former champions Francesca Schiavone and Serena Williams and No.2 seed Maria Sharapova among those looking to progress.
Tuesday, First Round
Court Philippe Chatrier
 Francesca Schiavone (ITA #12) vs. Kimiko Date-Krumm (JPN #76)
Head-to-head: Schiavone leads 2-0
There is something about this time of year that brings the very best out of Francesca Schiavone. For the past two years the Italian has wowed the Parisian crowds with her unique brand of swashbuckling tennis and on-court charisma, winning the title in 2010 and finishing runner-up 12 months later.
Can she repeat the trick once more? Well, judging by her mightily impressive triumph in Strasbourg last week, then the answer is unequivocally, yes. But before she can even contemplate a third visit to the final, she must get through a testing opener against Kimiko Date-Krumm. The evergreen World No.76 was a semifinalist at Roland Garros back in 1995 - three years before Schiavone turned pro - and still has more than enough tricks in her locker to outfox her younger rivals.
 Serena Williams (USA #5) vs. Virginie Razzano (FRA #111)
Head-to-head: first meeting
After Victoria Azarenka's escapologist act on Day 2, Serena Williams will not be taking anything for granted when she steps on court for her opening match. And while her opponent, former World No.16 Virginie Razzano, may have struggled for wins of late - notching up just two since the start of March - Williams will be only too aware of the potential dangers posed to a seed by an inspired Frenchwoman and a partisan crowd.
Nevertheless, even this combustible mix is unlikely to derail Williams, who is currently riding the crest of a 17-match win-streak and playing some of the best clay court tennis since she won the Roland Garros title a decade ago. As if this was not daunting enough, Razzano is also battling history - Williams has never lost in the first round of a major.
Court Suzanne Lenglen
Alexandra Cadantu (ROU #78) vs.  Maria Sharapova (RUS #2)
Head-to-head: first meeting
Maria Sharapova will look to make the first tentative steps towards tennis greatness on Tuesday with a first round victory over Alexandra Cadantu. Should she successfully negotiate this first hurdle, then the World No.2 will stand just six wins away from picking up the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen and completing her Grand Slam collection.
On the face of it, Sharapova should have few problems with Cadantu. However, despite the Russian's superb record on the dirt this year she is too experienced a campaigner to overlook any opponent - even one making just her second Grand Slam main draw appearance.
Around the grounds…
No.4 seed Petra Kvitova gets her campaign underway against wildcard Ashleigh Barty, while other seeds looking to book second round berths include crowd favorites Caroline Wozniacki and Maria Kirilenko.
For more on today's matches, see our Match Notes in the Press Center.