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Cornet Clears First Hurdle In Paris

Alizé Cornet won her first round match in Paris to set up a date with No.2 seed Petra Kvitova.

Published January 28, 2014 12:12

Cornet Clears First Hurdle In Paris
Alize Cornet

PARIS, France - Alizé Cornet produced an up-and-down performance to defeat Magdalena Rybarikova and reach the second round of the Open GDF SUEZ on Tuesday.

In contrast to her fortunes on the clay in Strasbourg, Cornet has struggled to find her best tennis in the French capital in recent years, suffering a string of premature exits at both the Stade Pierre de Coubertin and up the road at Roland Garros.

Against Rybarikova, there were her usual flashes of brilliance, although this was accompanied by the odd moment of frustration. In the end a run of three straight games at the start of the deciding set proved the difference, Cornet wrapping up a 63 57 62 victory with a trademark drop shot, much to the delight of the home crowd.

"Playing in front of a French crowd is always amazing," Cornet, who will meet No.2 seed Petra Kvitova next, said. "It doesn't happen so often during the year so I'm really happy to play with my friends and family watching.

"During the tournament, I'm just trying to stay focused and taking each match as it comes."

Also clearing the first hurdle in Paris were No.7 seed Carla Suárez Navarro and Daniela Hantuchova.

Despite favoring the slower surfaces on tour, Suárez Navarro was a quarterfinalist here 12 months ago and made a confident start this time around, easing past Johanna Larsson, 61 64. Hantuchova meanwhile looked to be heading for a similarly comfortable win only for her opponent, Marina Erakovic, to retire with a back injury midway through the second set.

Hantuchova, who was leading 63 30 at the time, will now face No.1 seed Maria Sharapova in the second round. Joining them will be Andrea Petkovic, Karin Knapp and Yvonne Meusburger.

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