x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Stosur 'getting better' as the 2010 finalist into round two

Samantha Stosur, last year's beaten finalist, and Jelena Jankovic, the former world No 1, led the way into the French Open second round on a low-key opening day.

PARIS // Samantha Stosur, last year's beaten finalist, and Jelena Jankovic, the former world No 1, led the way into the French Open second round on a low-key opening day.

Stosur, the highest-seeded woman, at No 8, in action on the tournament's first day, defeated the Czech Iveta Benesova 6-2, 6-3 to set up a clash with the Romanian teenager Simona Halep.

Jankovic, beaten by Stosur in the semi-finals 12 months ago, overcame the Ukrainian Alona Bondarenko 6-3, 6-1 and will now face either one-time world No 4 Jelena Dokic of Australia or Russia's Vera Dushevina.

"Overall, I'm getting better and better," said Stosur, 27, of Australia, returning to the scene of her defeat by Francesca Schiavone in last year's final.

"I hope I'm becoming a better player, a more complete player as each year goes on. This time last year I played some of the best matches of my career and hopefully I can do that again."

Jankovic, who reached the Roland Garros last four in 2007 and 2008, rarely looked unsettled as she recorded a 13th victory over Bondarenko in 14 encounters.

"I love playing at Roland Garros," Jankovic said. "I've reached the semis three times. I really love the courts here and hopefully I can do well again. Obviously, my dream is to win it."

Israel's Shahar Peer, the 19th seed, was the first seed to fall, going down 7-6, 6-1 to Spain's Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.

Schiavone begins her title defence against the American 19-year-old Melanie Oudin today, with Danish top seed Caroline Wozniacki kicking off her campaign against the 40-year-old Japanese veteran Kimiko Date Krumm.

* Agence France-Presse