Li Na to Face Kristina Mladenovicat French Open
    2014-05-27 09:51:37      Web Editor: Wang
Second seed Li Na will begin her French Open campaign later today. The 2011 Roland Garros champion will play local player Kristina Mladenovic.


Second seed Li Na will begin her French Open campaign later today.

The 2011 Roland Garros champion will play local player Kristina Mladenovic.

The match starts at 5 PM Beijing time.

Li Na faced Mladenovic at this very tournament four years ago.

It was their only other career meeting and Li Na won it 7-5, 6-3.

Also at 5 PM this afternoon, Chinese ace Peng Shuai will play Sloane Stephens of the United States in another opening-round match.

Peng Shuai is now the only other Chinese player at the tournament.

Zheng Jie was eliminated earlier.

Maria Sharapova registered a first round victory against qualifier Ksenia Pervak of Kazakhstan in straight sets 6-1, 6-2.

Sharapova, who completed a career Grand Slam at Roland Garros two years ago, described the tense Grand Slam atmosphere.

"First matches at Grand Slams are always tough, no matter how prepared you are, no matter how many matches you've played. There is always a bit more tension in that type of Grand Slam atmosphere. It's certainly more special, especially when you walk out on court."

Also on Monday, ninth seeded Dominika Cibulkova booked her second round berth after dispatching local player Virginie Razzano 7-5, 6-0.

Italy's Flavia Pennetta and Germany's Sabine Lisicki are also off to the second round.

In the men's draw, second seed Novak Djokovic has opened his French Open campaign.

The Serb, bidding to claim his first French Open title, ousted Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.

The former world number one will next meet Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in the second round.

Djokovic says he is not daunted facing a motivated local player.

"Playing a French tennis player in France, we all know how challenging that is. He had a big win against Federer in Rome, so I'm sure he's very motivated to play his best. But I've been looking forward to this tournament for a long time. I'm in a good form, and hopefully I can use that against Chardy."

Meanwhile, the man bidding to his fifth Roland Garros title in a row, Spaniard Rafael Nadal, also eased through to the second round.

Nadal made light work of American wildcard Robby Ginepri 6-0, 6-3, 6-0 to improve his career French open record to 60-1.

There was one major upset on Monday though, as Japan's Kei Nishikori bounced out after a 7-6, 6-1, 6-2 loss to Slovakia's Martin Klizan.


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