Sharapova, Venus Advance at French Open
PARIS (AP) — Maria Sharapova showed little sign of shoulder trouble Wednesday and reached the second round of the French Open by beating Emilie Loit of France 6-3, 7-6 (4).
The second-ranked Russian wasted seven break points in the first game of the match, but then converted both of her opportunities in the third and fifth games.
“My shoulder is still not where I want it to be. It’s still not perfect,” Sharapova said. “I don’t think I’ve had a more serious injury.”
Loit served for the second set at 6-5, but Sharapova earned her second break of the set to force the tiebreaker.
Venus Williams reached the third round, beating Ashley Harkleroad of the United States 6-1, 7-6 (8). Williams led 5-2 in the second set, but was broken twice while serving for the match.
In the tiebreaker, Harkleroad had five set points.
Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 2004 U.S. Open champion seeded third at Roland Garros, beat Ekaterina Bychkova of Russia 6-0, 6-3 in the first round.
But Anastasia Myskina, the 2004 French Open champion, again lost in the first round. Meghann Shaughnessy of the United States beat the Russian 6-1, 6-0.
Myskina lost in the first round at Roland Garros a year after winning the title, and then reached the fourth round last year. She is 0-7 in tour events since August.
Shaughnessy had lost in the first round at the French Open in the past two years.
Marat Safin, a two-time Grand Slam champion, lost in the second round of the men’s draw. The 22nd-seeded Russian fell to Janko Tipsarevic 6-4, 6-4, 7-5.
“Unfortunately it wasn’t really the match that I should have lost,” Safin said. “I was frustrated with the fact that nothing came together.”
Safin has not won consecutive matches since March.
No. 10 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic lost in the first round, falling to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 7-5, 6-4, 6-4. No. 6 Novak Djokovic, No. 9 Tommy Robredo, No. 12 David Ferrer and No. 23 Carlos Moya advanced.
Robby Ginepri, the ninth and final American man at the tournament, lost to Diego Hartfield of Argentina 6-4, 1-6, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.
It’s the first time in at least 40 years that no American men have reached the second round at Roland Garros.
Sharapova, a two-time Grand Slam champion who missed nearly two months of the season with a right shoulder injury, returned last week at a clay-court warmup tournament in Istanbul, where she was upset in the semifinals.
“Even without the serve I’m good enough to win many matches,” said the 20-year-old Russian, who has never reached the semifinals at Roland Garros but has made the quarterfinals twice.
Loit, a 27-year-old veteran whose best showing at a major was a fourth-round appearance at the 1999 Australian Open, called for a trainer after the third game of the first set. She soon left the court and returned a few minutes later with her left thigh wrapped.
During the break, Sharapova practiced her serves while wearing her warmup jacket as light rain began to fall.
Also, No. 7 Ana Ivanovic, No. 9 Anna Chakvetadze, No. 10 Dinara Safina, No. 12 Daniela Hantuchova, No. 13 Elena Dementieva, No. 14 Patty Schnyder, No. 15 Shahar Peer, No. 17 Katarina Srebotnik, No. 20 Sybille Bammer, No. 21 Ai Sugiyama, No. 22 Alona Bondarenko, No. 24 Anabel Medina Garrigues, No. 25 Lucie Safarova and No. 28 Mara Santangelo won.
Top-ranked Justine Henin, Amelie Mauresmo and Serena Williams were also to play Wednesday, while Roger Federer was scheduled to play on the men’s side.