Easy starts for Sharapova, Schiavone and Kvitova in Paris

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 00:35 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Maria Sharapova, chasing the one grand slam title to elude her, began her French Open campaign strongly on Monday with a whitewash of Romanian Alexandra Cadantu.

Former champion Francesca Schiavone and Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova also progressed in straight sets on another sunny, hot day at Roland Garros.

Sharapova’s 48-minute win was the first 6-0 6-0 result of the tournament and took the Russian through to a meeting with Japan’s Ayumi Morita.

“I am really happy with the way my preparation has been coming into this tournament,” former world number one Sharapova told a news conference. “I feel like every year I have improved and I enjoy it much more.”

Schiavone, the winner in 2010 and runner-up to China’s Li Na 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.

By contrast, 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 either Pole Urszula Radwanska or Frenchwoman Pauline Parmentier.

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.