PARIS – Major champions Sam Stosur and Svetlana Kuznetsova quickly made their way into the second round of the French Open on Sunday, both winning in straight sets on the opening day of the clay-court tournament.
The sixth-seeded Stosur, who won last year's U.S. Open title and reached the final at Roland Garros in 2010, beat Elena Baltacha of Britain 6-4, 6-0 in the first match on the tournament's main court.
"It's a bit of an early start, but always nice to get through it now," the Australian said. "You have the whole day and whatever else to recover and, yeah, enjoy."
Kuznetsova won the French Open title in 2009 and the U.S. Open in 2004 but is seeded No. 26 this year. Against Mirjana Lucic of Croatia, the Russian faced little trouble despite being broken twice in the second set.
No. 20 Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic also advanced, beating Anastasiya Yakimova of Belarus 6-2, 6-0. American players Melanie Oudin and Irina Falconi also reached the second round.
Later, seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams and 2008 French Open winner Ana Ivanovic were to play.
None of the top three men was in action in Paris on opening day, but former major champions Andy Roddick and Juan Martin del Potro were on the schedule.
Top-ranked Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer will be on court Monday, while Rafael Nadal is slated to begin his attempt for a record-breaking seventh French Open title on Tuesday.
Fabio Fognini of Italy became the first man to advance, beating Adrian Mannarino of France 6-0, 7-5, 6-1. No. 21 Marin Cilic of Croatia was next, defeating Daniel Munoz-De la Nava of Spain 6-4, 6-4, 7-5.
The French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament that starts on Sunday. The other three all start on Monday.
"I don't think it's too big a deal now that it's more of a proper schedule," Stasur said. "I think the first year there was only a handful of matches, and, yeah, if you were on the schedule then, it really didn't feel like the tournament started. Nobody else was thinking that the tournament had started."
Stosur converted five of her eight break points, and only briefly allowed Baltacha back into the match by being broken while serving for the first set at 5-3. The Australian broke right back to take the set.
In the second set, Baltacha won only four points on her serve, allowing Stosur to advance easily.
Kuznetsova raced through the first set of her match, and then held on to win the second to reach the next round. After leading 3-0 in the second set, Lucic broke twice to get back to 3-3, but Kuznetsova then won the next three games to take the match.
The 30-year-old Lucic reached the Wimbledon semifinals in 1999, but she is now 11-44 against players ranked in the top 30 in her career.