Defending champion Muguruza overcomes defiant Schiavone

Updated: 

Garbine Muguruza started the defence of her French Open title with a hard-fought straight-sets victory over defiant former champion Francesca Schiavone. 

The fourth seed retired from her last tournament in Rome this month at the semi-final stage due to a neck injury, but looked untroubled by that setback in a 6-2 6-4 win on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Schiavone, who turns 37 this month, was unable to live with Muguruza's power and precision in the first set and suffered a first-round exit despite raising her game in the second.

Muguruza has lost her way since winning her first grand slam title on the famous Paris clay last year, but made an encouraging start to against the 2010 champion at Roland Garros on Monday to set up a clash with Anett Kontaveit, who beat her in Stuttgart recently.

The Spaniard broke to love in the first game of the match with some fearsome hitting in an aggressive start, unleashing a barrage of brutal forehand winners.

Veteran Italian Schiavone netted a straightforward volley as she went 3-0 down, but the Milan native broke back to get on the board with a superb cross-court winner.

A battling Schiavone saved four break points to trail 3-2 before a delay while an unwell spectator was treated on a warm day in the French capital.

The world number five regained control after that halt in play, winning three games in a row in a flash to take the first set with more heavy hitting.

Schiavone lost 15 points in a row and grew increasingly frustrated as she racked up the errors to go 2-0 down in the second set, but channelled her frustration to turn the tide by winning three games in a row.

Muguruza got herself out of trouble by saving two break points to level at 3-3 and although Schiavone hung in there, Muguruza served out the match after breaking again to go through.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Mugurza [4] bt Schiavone 6-2 6-4

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Muguruza - 17/16
Schiavone - 16/21

ACES
Muguruza - 2
Schiavone - 1

BREAK POINTS WON
Muguruza - 5/11
Schiavone - 2/5

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Muguruza - 68
Schiavone - 56

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Muguruza - 62/72
Schiavone - 45/39

TOTAL POINTS
Muguruza - 67
Schiavone - 42