Tennis-Easy starts for Nadal and Sharapova in Paris

Reuters

Tue, 29 May 18:08:00 2012

* Nadal opens defence with straight-sets win

* Sharapova whitewashes first opponent

* Schiavone and Kvitova enjoy easy victories (Recasts with Nadal win)

Rafa Nadal's campaign for a record seventh French Open title began with a straight-sets victory over outclassed Italian Simone Bolelli on Tuesday, while Maria Sharapova opened with a whitewash of Romanian Alexandra Cadantu.

Nadal, defending champion and second seed, thrashed Bolelli 6-2 6-2 6-1 in just short of two hours on the sunny Philippe Chatrier court.

Playing in a shocking-pink shirt, Nadal completely dominated an error-prone Bolelli, who summed up his ordeal in three words: "Today, no chance."

Spaniard Nadal, aiming to win his 11th grand slam title, will next play Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin.

Sharapova, chasing the one grand slam title to elude her, beat Cadantu 6-0 6-0 in 48 minutes, taking her through to a meeting with Japan's Ayumi Morita.

"I feel like with every year I have improved and I enjoy it much more," the Russian former world number one told a news conference.

"I feel like I'm moving a lot better than I did in years previously, which has helped me a lot in the recovery process within the point."

Former champion Francesca Schiavone and Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova also progressed in straight sets.

Schiavone, the winner in 2010 and runner-up last year, enjoyed a 6-3 6-1 victory over Japan's Kimiko Date-Krumm, the third-oldest woman to play at Roland Garros in the professional era at 41.

The Italian said she had been nervous before stepping out on the court where she lost last year's final to Li Na of China.

"I was really very tense because to play on the central court, to feel all you can feel on such a big court and to be here with your hopes and dreams is very difficult.

"But as soon as I came on, I started to breathe and to move," she told reporters.

YOUNGEST PLAYER

Kvitova found herself up against the youngest player in this year's draw, Australian wildcard Ashleigh Barty who turned 16 last month.

The Czech, seeded fourth, won 6-1 6-2 in 54 minutes and will now play Pole Urszula Radwanska.

Claycourt specialist David Ferrer, a quarter-finalist twice here and the sixth seed, eased to a 6-3 6-4 6-1 victory over unheralded Slovakian Lukas Lacko.

Serbian Janko Tipsarevic was briefly put off his stride when an elderly spectator had to be helped from the stands in mid-game during the third set after suffering from the heat on Court One.

The eighth seed recovered his concentration to defeat American Sam Querry 2-6 6-4 7-6 6-3 and was full of praise for his opponent afterwards.

"He was playing out of his mind, hitting winners from everywhere, playing a little bit outside the situation how you normally should play on clay," Tipsarevic told a news conference.

"All credit to him. Everything was going in. I'm happy that I managed to stay positive, stay quiet, not really talk too much when somebody is killing me on the court like he did in the first set."

 

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