Stosur, Jankovic sweep into French Open round two

Paris: Last year`s beaten finalist Samantha Stosur and former world number one Jelena Jankovic led the way into the French Open second round on Sunday`s low-key opening day.

Eighth seed Stosur, the highest-seeded woman in action on the tournament`s first day, defeated Czech Iveta Benesova 6-2, 6-3 to set up a clash with Romanian teenager Simona Halep, who she beat in last year`s first round.

Jankovic, beaten by Stosur in the semi-finals 12 months ago, overcame Ukrainian Alona Bondarenko 6-3, 6-1 and will now face either one-time world number four Jelena Dokic of Australia or Russia`s Vera Dushevina.

Stosur, returning to the scene of her defeat by Francesca Schiavone in last year`s final, was broken in her opening service game on Court Philippe Chatrier but broke straight back before romping to a 4-1 lead.

The 27-year-old Australian converted her second set point when Benesova, the world number 52, miscued a stretching forehand and Stosur concluded a straightforward victory with a love service game in the second set.

"Overall I`m getting better and better," said Stosur, who lost to Maria Sharapova in the Rome Masters final earlier this month.

"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 this week."

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

The Serb spurned two break points but then broke for a 4-2 lead before taking the first set when Bondarenko scuttled a forehand into the net at 5-3 down.

A pair of breaks put the 26-year-old Jankovic 4-1 to the good in the second set and she overcame belated resistance from the Ukrainian to prevail on her third match point.

Israel`s Shahar Peer, the 19th seed, was the first seed to fall, going down 7-6 (7/4), 6-1 to Spain`s Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, who won last year`s claycourt Italian Open.

Bulgarian 32nd seed Tsvetana Pironkova, a beaten semi-finalist at Wimbledon last year, defeated Australia`s Casey Dellacqua 7-5, 6-3 to reach round two.

Alize Cornet become the first French woman into the second round, the world number 80 beating Renata Voracova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-2.

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

Bureau Report

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