Schiavone bulldozes into French Open second round

Defending women’s French Open champion Francesca Schiavone cruised into the second round with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over American 19-year-old Melanie Oudin on Monday.

The fifth-seeded Schiavone, who last year became the first Italian woman to win a Grand Slam title, will face either Britain’s Anne Keothavong or Russian Vesna Dolonts for a place in round three.

Returning to Court Philippe Chatrier, scene of her victory over Australia’s Samantha Stosur in last year’s final, Schiavone exchanged breaks of serve with her opponent in the first set before breaking again twice to open up a 4-1 lead.

Having found range with her groundstrokes, the 30-year-old asserted her authority with some tenacious shot-making before converting set point at the fifth attempt when Oudin was unable to return a plunging forehand.

A measured backhand winner down the line earned Schiavone her second break of the second set and with it a 3-0 lead, and she closed out a 62-minute victory on her first match point when Oudin could only swat a return into the net. — AFP

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