Defending women’s champion Francesca Schiavone wasted little time in reaching round two of this year’s French Open with a thumping 6-2 6-0 victory over American teenager Melanie Oudin.
The Italian, whose victory against Samantha Stosur in the final 12 months ago was arguably the high point of a patchy season in women’s tennis, needed only an hour and two minutes to confirm she will again be a big threat on the red clay.
Oudin was tipped as the next big star of American tennis when she burst onto the scene in 2009, reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon and the quarter-finals at the US Open, but she has failed to build on that.
The 19-year-old, who prefers hard courts, has won only seven of her 24 matches this season and simply could not cope with Schiavone’s intelligent placement and variety of spins and slices.
Fifth seed Schiavone, who appears to be coming into form just at the right time, admitted to nerves on her return to Court Philippe Chatrier.
The 30-year-old said: “I’m still shaking a little bit. I felt really happy to be there. The court is perfect. It is like when you go home and your mum does everything for you and you feel comfortable. I felt like that but with a lot of adrenaline.”
Oudin conceded she had been demonstrably second best, saying: “I pretty much got a clay-court lesson today. Practising this past week, I haven’t played anyone that hits the ball that heavy.
“She is serving well, she’s moving well, she pretty much doesn’t have a weakness on the clay. I can see how she won the French Open last year.
“She’s so confident here. You could see the shots she was going for and making them. I thought she played really, really well today. There really wasn’t much I could do.”
Oudin, who has slipped to 88th in the world rankings, believes she is on the way up again but revealed she is thinking about dropping down from the WTA Tour in an effort to play more matches.
The teenager said: “I feel like I’m getting better, it’s just taking more time than I was hoping, because I had such a good run at the US Open. But I feel like where my ranking is now is where I should be.
“I think it would be good if I can get in some more matches and even play some more challengers at the end of the year.”
Daniela Hantuchova, the 28th seed, and 30th seed Roberta Vinci also made it through to the second round but 26th seed Nadia Petrova is out after losing 6-7 (5/7) 6-3 6-4 to Australia’s Anastasia Rodionova.