Samantha Stosur began her French Open campaign with a 6-2 6-3 victory over Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic.

Eighth seed Stosur, beaten in the 2010 final by Francesca Schiavone, was broken in game one but came through strongly to win in 68 minutes. The Australian will next face Romanian teenager Simona Halep, who thrashed Russia’s Alla Kudryavtseva 6-2 6-1.

Tenth seed Jelena Jankovic beat Alona Bondarenko 6-3 6-1 but 19th seed Shahar Peer suffered a shock first-round exit. Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Julia Goerges and Flavia Pennetta are among the other seeds in action on Sunday.

Stosur opened proceedings on Court Philippe Chatrier and looked like she might by in for a tough contest when Benesova stuck in the opening service game. But the 27-year-old from Queensland responded with four games in a row and was rarely troubled thereafter. She has one of the best kick serves in the women’s game and Benesova simply had no answer, with a single break in game six of the second set proving decisive. “It was nice to get back out there again and play a really solid first round,” said Stosur. “I thought I played really quite well today. I served quite well. “The conditions weren’t always easy with some gusts of wind. I’m very happy. “Obviously I thought of last year’s match but it was nice to get out there again and, of course, if you can play on any court here you’d want to play on that one.”

The first result of the tournament saw Halep ease past Kudryavtseva to set up a second-round meeting with Stosur, while 32nd seed Tsvetana Pironkova also won through. The Bulgarian, a shock semi-finalist at Wimbledon in 2010, beat Casey Dellacqua of Australia 7-5 6-3 and will next face Argentina’s Gisela Dulko following her 6-3 6-4 triumph over American Irina Falconi. It was not all plain sailing for the bigger names, though, with Israel’s 19th seed Peer dumped out by Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez. The unseeded Spaniard, who has failed to build on her shock win in Rome last year, edged the first set before running away with the second to triumph 7-6 (7-4) 6-1.



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