French Open Sunday: First Round Begins
Published May 25, 2013 12:00
PARIS, France - This year's French Open gets underway on Sunday, with several of tennis' biggest names in action, including 2008 champion Ana Ivanovic, who takes on Petra Martic first up on Court Philippe Chatrier.
Sunday, First Round
Court Philippe Chatrier
 Ana Ivanovic (SRB #14) vs. Petra Martic (CRO #108)
Head-to-head: first meeting
Since lifting the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen five years ago, Ana Ivanovic has had a lean time of things at Roland Garros, managing to win just six matches. But, buoyed by a couple of decent showings on the clay - most notably a semifinal run in Madrid - and a relatively unthreatening draw, she will fancy her chances of building up a bit of momentum on this visit.
First in the line of fire is the enigmatic Petra Martic. With just two wins all season, the Croatian is at a low ebb at present, and, defending the 280 points from her fourth round run 12 months ago, goes into the tournament with plenty of pressure on her shoulders. On her day an attacking game and deceptively potent serve make her a danger, and Ivanovic will be wary of this threat, particularly in light of her recent first week struggles in Paris.
Court Suzanne Lenglen
 Venus Williams (USA #32) vs. Urszula Radwanska (POL #40)
Head-to-head: Williams leads 1-0
Although her achievements have been somewhat overshadowed by those of her Top 5-ranked sibling Agnieszka, Urszula Radwanska has undoubtedly been playing the best tennis of her career over the past 12 months or so. On Sunday, she meets one half of the WTA's other premier sister act, Venus Williams, and has plenty of reasons to fancy her chances of causing a shock.
Despite being the lower-ranked player, Radwanska has played almost twice as many matches as the American this season and has posted two victories over Top 15-ranked opponents in the past month. Williams, a runner-up here in 2002, looked rusty during a one-sided defeat to Laura Robson on her last outing and will need to draw on all her experience - her 56 matches at the French Open is more than any other active player - to subdue Radwanska and her energetic game.
 Nadia Petrova (RUS #11) vs. Monica Puig (PUR #86)
Head-to-head: first meeting
Monica Puig certainly talks a good game, and her recent exploits on tour have proved that this is anything but empty rhetoric. After ending last year with back-to-back titles on the ITF Circuit, the first five months of the new campaign have seen Puig consolidate, posting 21 wins, breaking into the Top 100 and reaching her first WTA quarterfinal.
While she has come close on several occasions, Puig is yet to notch a win against one of the game's big guns, though. The latest opportunity to tick this off her to-do list comes against two-time French Open semifinalist Nadia Petrova. The match will be Puig's first in the main draw of a major, and although experience and ranking dictates that she starts as a heavy underdog, she will be boosted by her own good form, not to mention Petrova's so-so 2-3 win-loss record on clay in 2013.
Around the grounds…
World No.1 Serena Williams begins her quest for that elusive second Roland Garros crown against Anna Tatishvili, while other seeds in action include Sara Errani and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who face Arantxa Rus and Andrea Hlavackova, respectively.