Maria Sharapova won by a score that couldn't be better — a 6-0, 6-0 "double bagel" romp Tuesday in the first round of the French Open and a step toward a possible career Grand Slam.
Sharapova, who lost in this year's Australian Open final, spent little time on the red clay at Roland Garros, completing her rout of Romania's Alexandra Cadantu in 48 minutes. The second-seeded Russian finished with 18 winners to none for Cadantu but had to save three break points.
"No matter how good or bad they're playing, you still have to win that match," Sharapova said. "It's always about who takes their chances."
Earlier, Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova defeated junior Wimbledon champion Ashleigh Barty 6-1, 6-2. After losing the opening game, Kvitova won six straight in the first set against the 16-year-old Australian wild card and again raced through the second set despite being broken once.
"She has a big serve with kicks and good forehand," Kvitova said. "She has very good touch."
The left-handed Czech won her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon last year, and then won the WTA Championships. Although she has yet to win a title in 2012, she is seeded fourth in Paris and is expected to go deep into the tournament.
"It was tough out there today," Barty said. "I didn't play my best tennis, but she didn't allow me to. I was out there giving it my all, but unfortunately just didn't come out on top today."
Barty is the youngest player in the draw, one of only eight teenagers entered. The oldest player in the draw, 41-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan, lost to 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy 6-3, 6-1.
Sixth-seeded David Ferrer of Spain and No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia advanced in the men's tournament.
Later Tuesday, defending champion Rafael Nadal will begin his quest for a record-breaking seventh title at Roland Garros. On the women's side, 13-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams is to play.
Sharapova has won the other three Grand Slam titles, but she has never reached the final at Roland Garros. Last year, however, she equaled her best result by making the semifinals.
"I feel like with every year I have improved and I enjoy it much more," Sharapova said. "I think I learn a lot more about the game and the point construction. I feel like I'm moving a lot better than I did years previously, which has helped me a lot in the recovery process within the point."
She moved well enough against Cadantu, a 22-year-old making her French Open debut.
"For me, to have that big crowd, it was a lot," Cadantu said after playing on Court Suzanne Lenglen, the second biggest stadium at Roland Garros. "I enjoyed it a lot."