Published May 27, 2012
Paris, France – Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams, former champions Ana Ivanovic and Svetlana Kuznetsova and sixth- seeded Samantha Stosur were among Sunday's first-round winners at the French Open in Paris.
Williams, a 2002 French Open finalist, battled back to beat Argentina's Paula Ormaechea 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 at the world's lone clay-court Grand Slam event.
The 13th-seeded Ivanovic, the 2008 women's winner, cruised past Spain's Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino 6-1, 6-1.
Ivanovic will next take on Shahar Peer of Israel, who cruised past Stephanie Dubois of Canada 6-2, 6-2.
The 26th-seeded Kuznetsova, the 2009 champion, cruised past Croatia's Mirjana Lucic 6-1, 6-3.
Stosur, the reigning U.S. Open champ, handled Elena Baltacha of Britain 6-4, 6-0. Stosur finished runner-up at Stade Roland Garros in 2010.
"Obviously very happy with the way I played and ... everything else," said Stosur. "Definitely a nice one to have underway and through to the second round."
German Angelique Kerber, the No. 10 seed, moved on with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Zhang Shuai of China.
Czech Lucie Safarova, the No. 20 seed, also advanced by defeating Anastasiya Yakimova of Belarus 6-2, 6-0.
Safarova will next do battle with Spaniard Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, who defeated Czech Eva Birnerova 4-6, 6-4, 8-6.
Italian Sara Errani, the No. 21 seed, rallied past Casey Dellacqua of Australia 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.
Americans Melanie Oudin and Irina Falconi also posted first-round victories. Oudin took down Johanna Larsson of Sweden 6-3, 6-3, while Falconi beat Edina Gallovits-Hall of Romania 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.
In other first-round action, Irena Pavlovic of France beat Kai-Chen Chang of Chinese Taipei 6-4, 7-5, Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada defeated compatriot Heidi El Tabakh 7-5, 6-2, Mathilde Johansson of France downed Anastasia Rodionova of Australia 5-7, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, Germany's Dinah Pfizenmaier topped Caroline Garcia of France 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 and American Alexa Glatch was triumphant with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 win over Anna Tatishvili of Georgia.
Li Na became the first-ever Asian Grand Slam winner, male or female, by besting then-reigning champion Francesca Schiavone in last year's French Open finale. Schiavone became the first-ever Italian woman to capture a major title by beating Stosur in the 2010 final here.
The 2012 Roland Garros champ will pocket $1.57 million.