French Open Tuesday: Vika Gets Going
Published May 27, 2013 12:00
Tuesday, First Round
Court Philippe Chatrier
 Victoria Azarenka (BLR #3) vs. Elena Vesnina (RUS #38)
Head-to-head: Azarenka leads 4-0
Twelve months ago, Victoria Azarenka flirted outrageously with first round disaster in Paris, trailing by a set and 4-0 before rallying to defeat Alberta Brianti. She will be eager to avoid similar drama this time around, although her hopes of a simple passage were done no favors by the tennis gods, who drew her name alongside that of Elena Vesnina.
Despite a disappointing Roland Garros record - she is bidding to advance beyond the first round for just the second time - and miserable head-to-head record against the World No.3, Vesnina poses a real threat. An accomplished doubles player, the Russian has the variety in her game to upset Azarenka's rhythm and, with five career wins against Top 10 opponents, is no stranger to an upset either.
 Jelena Jankovic (SRB #18) vs. Daniela Hantuchova (SVK #61)
Head-to-head: Jankovic leads 5-3
Daniela Hantuchova enters this year's French Open outside the 32 seeds for just the third time since her debut back in 2001. Yet despite her ranking struggles, the Slovak remains a real danger on the clay; a former mixed doubles champion and doubles finalist, Hantuchova has reached the fourth round on both her last two visits to the French capital and in recent weeks has scored wins over both Petra Kvitova and Maria Kirilenko.
Nevertheless, she starts as the underdog against Jankovic, who this year has looked as fit and hungry as ever. The former No.1 has won 14 of her last 18 clay court matches, including a title run in Bogotá and pushing Serena Williams hard in the Charleston final. The two have met on eight occasions, with Jankovic winning three of the last five, all of which have come on the dirt.
 Klara Zakopalova (CZE #24) vs. Kaia Kanepi (EST #26)
Head-to-head: Kanepi leads 2-0
Fresh from an impressive triumph in Brussels - her third career title on clay - Kaia Kanepi can legitimately lay claim to being the most dangerous of floaters in this year's draw. And should she make it beyond the mercurial Klara Zakopalova, she is more than capable of hanging around well into the second week, as she did last year, making it all the way to the last eight before falling to eventual champion Maria Sharapova.
Zakopalova is no stranger to success in Paris either and at her best can pick apart bigger hitters with her crisp timing and compact strokes; last year, she upset both Maria Kirilenko and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova before giving Sharapova her toughest test of the fortnight in the fourth round.
Around the grounds…
Last year's semifinalist Petra Kvitova gets her campaign underway against wildcard Aravane Rezai, while other seeds looking to book second round berths include Samantha Stosur, Maria Kirilenko and Marion Bartoli.