Coughing Sharapova canters into French Open second round

Mon May 25, 2015 1:10pm EDT
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PARIS (Reuters) - Maria Sharapova was feeling off color but her game looked in good health as the French Open champion opened her title defense with a 6-2 6-4 first-round win against Estonia's Kaia Kanepi on Monday.

The second seed, who will next face fellow Russian Vitalia Diatchenko, was barely bothered by a cold in a late-afternoon canter on Court Philippe Chatrier.

"I'm getting over it, and hopefully it will pass by soon," Sharapova, who warmed up for Roland Garros by winning the Italian Open, told a news conference.

Sharapova, wearing a sailor shirt and a matching blue skirt, wasted chances to move 4-0 up as Kanepi broke back to trail 3-2, but normal service soon resumed.

The double Roland Garros champion won three games in a row to win the opening set having made only four unforced errors.

Kanepi buried a backhand into the net to hand Sharapova a break in the fourth game of the second set, but the Estonian broke back as the unforced errors started to pile up on the Russian's stats sheet.

Sharapova wasted one match point but a Kanepi double fault ensured a routine victory.

It was not too easy, however, on a windswept center court.

"I had a tough opponent ahead of me. I knew that it was going to be tough and it wasn't going to depend on the tennis," she said.   Continued...

Maria Sharapova of Russia plays a shot to Kaia Kanepi of Estonia during their women's singles match at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, May 25, 2015.       REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier