Halep, Ivanovic win French openers
Paris, France (SportsNetwork.com) - Simona Halep and Ana Ivanovic were among the winners Sunday on the first day of play at the 2015 French Open.
Halep, this year's third seed and last year's runner-up to Maria Sharapova, battled past Evgeniya Rodina of Russia in a 7-5, 6-4 decision in the opening match at Chatrier Court.
Ivanovic, the 2008 champion and this year's seventh seed, rallied from a set down to claim a 4-6, 6-2, 6-0 victory over Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova. The Serb hasn't fared too well at Roland Garros since winning her lone Grand Slam title seven years ago, reaching only as far as the fourth round twice.
Halep raced out to a 4-1 lead on Sunday before Rodina evened the set at 5-5, but the Romanian regrouped and won the next two games before gaining a break in the second and finishing the match with an ace.
"I tried just to be focused for what I have to do on court to play my game," said Halep, who has three titles in 2015. "It was a great day for me. I just want to enjoy it."
Next up for Halep will be Croatia's Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, who advanced in three sets against American Lauren Davis. Lucic-Baroni won at the French Open for the first time since 2002 and beat Halep last year in the third round at the U.S. Open.
Other seeded winners Sunday included Ekaterina Makarova and Lucie Safarova.
The ninth-seeded Makarova powered past American Louisa Chirico, 6-4, 6-2, and the 13th-seeded Safarova won a pair of grueling tiebreaks, 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (11-9) against Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Spain's Garbine Muguruza topped Croatia's Petra Martic in straight sets and Italy's Flavia Pennetta needed three to dispose of Poland's Magda Linette.
Croatia's Donna Vekic rallied past 31st-seeded Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia in three sets and 24th-seeded Shaui Peng of China retired after losing the first eight games of her match against Slovenia's Polona Hercog.
First-round play continues Monday with Sharapova and Venus Williams on the schedule.
The second-seeded Sharapova will begin defense of her title against Estonia's Kaia Kanepi and Williams, seeded 15th, will take on fellow American Sloane Stephens.