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Sharapova begins French Open title defence with a win, Radwanska ousted

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Tennis fans in Paris are known to be a fickle lot and defending champion Maria Sharapova appears to have offended a large number of them as she was booed off court following her 6-2, 6-4 win against Estonian veteran Kaia Kanepi in the opening round of the French Open today.

Sharapova wasn't anywhere near her best today and struggled a bit, particularly in the second set in blustery conditions, before prevailing in straight sets against an opponent who tends to reserve her best for her trips to Wimbledon. Maria raced to a 3-0 lead in the opening set before suffering a slight blip as Kanepi closed in to 3-2. However, the Russian ace rattled off three games in a row to wrap up the first set.

The second set was a tight affair with Sharapova breaking serve in the fourth game, only to be broken back, but a double fault by Kanepi, serving to stay in the match, sealed the win for the Russian diva.

After her match, Sharapova rejected the opportunity to do any on court interviews due to a sore throat, a decision which didn't go down at all well with the fans, who had heard her screech through the two sets.

Maria did share in an interview later on though that she appreciated the frustration of the fans, saying, "Of course I totally understand that, you know, everyone usually does post-interviews and answers a few questions to the crowd. It's absolutely normal. I'm not making any excuses but I've got to do what I have to do."

27 year old Sharapova will face compatriot Vitalia Diatchenko in the second round.

It was a good day for German and French stars with Germany's Annika Beck stunning former Wimbledon runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland in three sets, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1. Radwanska though hasn't been anywhere near top form lately and had come into this tournament seeded a lowly 14th, having risen as high as no.2 just a couple of years back.

Another ex-Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki powered her way into round 2 past Monica Puig 6-3, 6-2.

French girls Alize Cornet and Virginie Razzano both needed three sets to squeeze past their opponents with the former getting past doubles specialist Roberta Vinci, 6-1 in the third. Razzano had an easier opponent in qualifier Veronica Cepede Royg, but needed to dig deep into her bag of tricks, even throwing in an under-arm second serve (which resulted in a double fault, rather remarkably), before prevailing.

Former world no.1 Victoria Azarenka, on the comeback trail after a foot injury, eased past Spain's amazingly syllabled Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor 6-2, 6-1.

First Round Scores:

Maria Sharapova d. Kaia Kanepi 6-2 6-4

Annika Beck d. Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 3-6 6-1

Sabine Lisicki d. Monica Puig 6-3 6-2

Alize Cornet d. Roberta Vinci 4-6 6-4 6-1

Victoria Azarenka d. Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor 6-2 6-1

Virginie Razzano d. Veronica Cepede Royg 2-6 6-4 6-2