Paris, France (Sports Network) - World No. 1 superstar and former champion
Serena Williams, Australian Open titlist Victoria Azarenka and last year's
Wimbledon runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska were a trio of winners Wednesday at
the French Open.
The sizzling-hot 2002 French Open winner Williams won her 26th straight match
on tour by lambasting France's Caroline Garcia 6-1, 6-2 in only 62 minutes on
The 15-time Grand Slam singles champion is now 69-3 since a shocking first-
round loss at the hands of French journeywoman Virginie Razzano at last
year's French Open.
The 31-year-old reigning Wimbledon and U.S. Open titlist Williams is trying
to reach her first French Open semifinal in 10 years.
Her third-round opponent will be Romanian Sorana Cirstea.
The third-seeded former No. 1 Azarenka finally played her first-round match
and handled Russian Elena Vesnina 6-1, 6-4 on the famed red clay at Roland
Garros, while the fourth-seeded Radwanska looked good in her second-rounder by
pasting American Mallory Burdette 6-3, 6-2.
Rain wreaked havoc on the schedule Tuesday, as it took four days to complete
"I felt like I'm one of the last ones to start," Azarenka said. "It was a long
wait, but I think performance-wise it was a good match."
The reigning two-time Aussie Open champ will face German Annika Beck in round
Radwanska, meanwhile, has never advanced beyond the fourth round in Paris
and was a third-round upset victim here a year ago.
She could've faced her sister, Urszula, in the next round if the younger
sibling, who knocked out Venus Williams in the first round, beat German Dinah
Pfizenmaier on Day 4. Her German counterpart, however, prevailed in 6-3, 6-3
fashion and will next face the older Radwanska.
Seventh-seeded former Wimbledon champion and 2012 French Open semifinalist
Petra Kvitova outlasted Frenchwoman Aravane Rezai 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 to reach the
second round, while eighth-seeded German Angelique Kerber landed in the third
round with a 6-2, 6-2 spanking of Slovak Jana Cepelova.
A second-round upset came when Serb Bojana Jovanovski took out 10th-seeded
struggling Dane Caroline Wozniacki, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3. The former world No. 1
Wozniacki has posted only one clay-court win since early last month and has
now lost before the quarterfinals in Paris six times in seven trips.
Fifteenth-seeded Italian Roberta Vinci held off Kazakhstan's Galina Voskoboeva
6-4, 4-6, 6-2, while Czech Petra Cetkovska ousted 19th-seeded Russian
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 20th-seeded Spaniard Carla Suarez
Navarro came back to beat American Shelby Rogers 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, and the 26th-
seeded Cirstea subdued Swede Johanna Larsson 6-1, 6-4 in the round of 64.
Some other second-round results saw 29th-seeded American Varvara Lepchenko get
past Ukrainian Elina Svitolina 7-6 (7-5), 6-1, 32nd-seeded German Sabine
Lisicki drill Spaniard Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor 6-4, 6-0, and former French
Open champ Svetlana Kuznetsova come back to best Slovak Magdalena Rybarikova
1-6, 6-2, 6-2. The Russian veteran Kuznetsova titled here in 2009 and was the
Roland Garros runner-up in 2006.
In other opening-round play involving seeds, No. 12 Maria Kirilenko of Russia
rolled past fellow countrywoman Nina Bratchikova 6-0, 6-1, in-form Estonian
Kaia Kanepi took out No. 23 Czech Klara Zakopalova 7-6 (7-3), 6-2, and
American Jamie Hampton doused No. 25 Czech Lucie Safarova 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 9-7.
Kanepi has now won six straight matches, including her clay-court title last
week in Brussels. Hampton was one of 10 American women to win first-round
matches this week.
Additional opening-round wins came for the aforementioned Beck, Swiss Stefanie
Voegele, Aussie Ashleigh Barty, last week's Brussels runner-up Peng Shuai of
China, and Slovak Anna Schmiedlova.
The Sports Network