Sharapova and Murray show off title credentials
By Martyn Herman
PARIS (Reuters) - Maria Sharapova got back in the groove at her happiest hunting ground while Andy Murray's growing love of clay blossomed as both posted easy first-round wins at the French Open on Monday.
Defending champion Sharapova was nursing a cold but opened her bid for a third Roland Garros title in four years with a 6-2 6-4 victory over Estonian Kaia Kanepi on a breezy Court Phillipe Chatrier.
Men's third seed Murray then took his winning streak on the red dust to 11 matches by overpowering Argentine lucky loser Facundo Arguello 6-3 6-3 6-1, maintaining his unbeaten run since marrying long-term partner Kim Sears.
Sharapova, who was also champion in 2012 and runner-up in 2013 despite an intense dislike for the surface earlier in her illustrious career, produced her usual power tennis to ease through to the second round.
It was not a perfect performance, perhaps due to the cough that was troubling her, but she never looked in danger as she set up a meeting with fellow Russian Vitalia Diatchenko.
Sharapova left to a few boos though after declining an on-court interview.
"Unless I'm really in my coffin I'm going to be out there," she told reporters. "I got sick a week before the tournament, not right before.
"I guess it's a little bit better timing but it's just the way it is. I'm getting over it, hopefully it will pass soon." Continued...