PARIS, France - While defending champions Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci are still waiting to complete their rain delayed first match at Roland Garros, on Friday several of their title rivals made it safely through to the third round.
No.3 seeds Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik arrived in Paris with just two wins to their name on the clay this year, but judging by their opening two performances they are running into form at just the right time.
After clearing the potentially tricky hurdle of Natalie Grandin and Vladimira Uhlirova first up, Petrova and Srebotnik looked equally impressive against Olga Govortsova and Anna Tatishvili, taking little over an hour to wrap up a 75 61 win.
A similarly stress-free passage into the last 32 was enjoyed by No.4 seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, who overcame the stubborn resistance of Nina Bratchikova and Tamarine Tanasugarn, 61 64.
Like Petrova and Srebotnik, Makarova and Vesnina have not been at their best during the clay court season, suffering early exits in Stuttgart and Madrid. However, having made the last four at the Australian Open and won Indian Wells, once again they appear to be peaking on the biggest stage.
For Beltrame it was not just the end of her French Open but also her career. Last week, the 34-year-old announced she would be retiring at the end of the tournament and despite a battling display there was to be no fairytale finish.
There was better news for the home nation in the remaining first round matches, which featured wins for the wildcard duo Caroline Garcia and Mathilde Johansson as well as Kristina Mladenovic and Galina Voskoboeva. Also making it through were Lucie Safarova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and recent Rome champions Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai.