Published: Tue, May 30, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

French Open 2017: Garbine Muguruza beats Francesca Schiavone to reach second round

French Open 2017: Garbine Muguruza beats Francesca Schiavone to reach second round

But a return to Roland Garros could be the tonic for her to rediscover the form that took her to a maiden Grand Slam title past year, in which she stunned Serena Williams in straight sets in the championship match. "Not only that but Francesca is also a legend and I was very excited to play on the Philippe Chatrier court with her", said Muguruza. "I'm happy that I managed to play, to be able to be kind of composed out there, because I wasn't sure how I was going to react again in the center court, playing against an ex-champ". But for today I was really impressed with my emotions. "But I was more focused on the present than the past".

Seeded players to fall were American 19th-seed CoCo Vandeweghe to Magdalena Rybarikova and her countrywoman Lauren Davis (25th) to Carina Witthoeft.

However, she did reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in January and reached the semi-finals in Rome, her final warm-up tournament before the French Open, before being forced to retire due to injury.

The 23-year-old Spaniard won 6-2, 6-4 over Schiavone in just an hour and a half, reports Efe.

"I don't see myself playing at 36 with that shape. But we will see", added Schiavone, who turns 37 next month.

Speaking afterwards, Muguruza admitted that there was room for improvement but explained that she was delighted to come have out on the right side of a tricky match-up.

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Her news conferences can be quite entertaining.

Despite her status as reigning champion, though, Muguruza believes she will have to grow into the event again, rather than reflecting on her 2016 triumph.

Muguruza observed that Schiavone "loves it. out there" on court, so a reporter wanted to know whether Schiavone has always loved tennis as much as she seems to these days.

Spaniard Muguruza, who won her maiden Grand Slam title at Roland Garros a year ago, swept aside 2010 champion Schiavone 6-2, 6-4.

I hate (tennis) sometimes. Is a big relation. "It's like when you marry someone".

The fourth-seeded Spaniard failed to convert her first two match points then had a good look at a lob on her third match point but pushed it long.

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"You never know. For the moment, I want to live this moment this year". It's unbelievable. It's something very special that if you love the sport you can do it. "But I will evaluate what I should do".

Soon came a call from a moderator for one last question.

Schiavone made the most of the wildcard entry by claiming her first WTA tour title of the season at Bogota in April. She was runner-up in 2012, and subsequently made the semis and two quarters, though she fell at the first hurdle a year ago.

Serena Williams's absence is having an impact on the women at the French Open.

And then, crossing her arms and leaning back in her chair, Schiavone got around to offering an answer: "The love and the passion that I feel for this sport".

The 18th-seeded Bertens hit 11 aces as she won 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, with the last two sets taking just 50 minutes in total. "It's a hard sport".

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