Martina Navratilova's dreams of a fairytale winning return to the French Open at the age of 47 came to a heartbreakingly predictable end today.
updated: February 25, 2007 10:06 IST
Paris:Martina Navratilova's dreams of a fairytale winning return to the French Open at the age of 47 came to a heartbreakingly predictable end today when she was beaten 6-1, 6-3 in the first round by Argentina's Gisela Dulko. On the other hand, top men's seed Roger Federer ended his Roland Garros jinx even as US sisters Venus and Serena Williams served notice of their French Open intentions by advancing into the second round with straight sets wins. Federer beat Belgian newcomer Kristof Vliegen 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 to win his first match on the red clay here since 2001. And despite lingering doubts about their fitness, 2002 French Open champion Serena, the second seed, defeated Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-2 in 66min as older sister Venus, the fourth seed, simultaneously beat Thailand's Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-2, 6-4 in 1hr 11min. Serena, who returned from eight months off after knee surgery in March, looked in form despite dropping her serve once in the second set before serving out for the match to love against her 51st-ranked opponent. Venus, the 2002 runner-up, had been in doubt for the tournament after a left ankle problem forced her to default the German Open final, but she never looked worried by her 55th-ranked Thai opponent depite losing her serve four times including her opening service game. Serena next meets Russian Maria Kirilenko as Venus takes on Croatia's Jelena Kostanic. (PTI)