Serena Williams got over her first-round loss at the French Open last year by routing Anna Tatishvili on the opening day of Roland Garros today. Former champion Roger Federer also won easily.
Women’s top-seed Williams eased past the 83rd-ranked player from Georgia, 6-0, 6-1 in 51 minutes on a cold and cloudy day on the main Court Philippe Chartier.
“I was definitely nervous,” Williams, 31, said in a news conference after she had received cheers from the court for addressing them in French during a post-match interview. “But for the most part I felt pretty safe and felt good about my game. If I can just do what I do in practice, I’ll be okay.”
Federer, the 2009 champion from Switzerland, was never in trouble against Spanish qualifier Pablo Carreno Busta, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3. Federer, who won a men’s record-extending 17th major singles crown at Wimbledon last year, struck 33 winners compared with 12 for his opponent.
“It was not easy for him, but I am always happy to be back playing in the main stadium here in Paris,” Federer, 31, said in a court-side interview.
Williams fired 27 winners including 8 aces past her opponent. Her win today was in sharp contrast to last year, when she got handed her first-ever defeat in the opening round of a major during a nervous encounter with then 111th-ranked Virginie Razzano of France.
After the loss, Williams went on a run to the top spot in women’s tennis, winning Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, the season-ending WTA Championships and singles and doubles gold at the London Olympics. Williams last won the title in Paris in 2002.
Ana Ivanovic, another former champion, moved to the second round earlier today, overcoming a challenge from Petra Martic of Croatia. Sara Errani, last year’s runner-up from Italy, eased past Aranxta Rus of the Netherlands, 6-1, 6-2.
Milos Raonic, the No. 14 seed from Canada, beat Belgium’s Xavier Malisse, 6-2, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 while France’s No. 15 seed Gilles Simon overcame former top-ranked Australian Lleyton Hewitt, 3-6, 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 7-5. No. 18 seed Sam Querrey, the highest-ranked American man, also won, defeating Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
With spectators wrapped up in scarves and hats in 10 degree Celsius (50 Fahrenheit) weather, Ivanovic of Serbia opened the tournament on the main Court Philippe Chatrier this morning by beating Martic, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.
The 14th-seeded Ivanovic won the French Open in 2008, and soon after reached the top spot in the women’s rankings. Since that season, the 25-year-old struggled with her form and injuries. She made the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open last year, her best result in a major since she won Roland Garros. Ivanovic had entered the French Open after she reached the semifinals of Madrid and the quarterfinals in Stuttgart, both times losing to defending Roland Garros champion Maria Sharapova of Russia.
Serena’s elder sister, Venus Williams, plays the closing match of the day against Poland’s Urszula Radwanska at the Court Suzanne Lenglen.
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