Justine Henin picked up right where she left off, cruising in her first round of the 2010 French Open. Matched up against Tsvetana Pironkova the former No.1 player in the world won in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3.
“I didn’t know really what to expect and how I was going to deal with my emotions,” Henin said after her opening round match. “As I walked in and I was into my match, I felt a lot of things were coming back. It was just fantastic to share this again with the crowd, as they gave me one more time great support. So it was very good to be back.”
A finalist in the 2009 French Open, Dinara Safina was unable to get past her first round match, as the ninth seed in the tournament. Safina could not get her serve going and was unable to hold off the upset by Japan’s Kimiko Date Krumm, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.
Krumm recently came out of retirement two season ago, after a 12-year long absence from the game. With her victory, she is the second-oldest player to be victorious in a match since the tournament moved to Roland Garros in 1985.
“I’m really happy. I tried my best,” Date Krumm said after he win.
Henin shares a similar story, as she came out of retirement last year after nearly two years away from the sport. Henin is the 22nd seed in the tournament.
“She has all of the chances to win this tournament,” said Pironkova in a post-match interview after her loss. “She still plays great. I don’t think she lost [anything] with that rest that she had. I think she is playing even better. She’s faster, and her strokes are more secure.”
In the second set, Henin showed a few signs that hinted at the possibility of the match extending to a third set. However, she regrouped and fended off the upset attempt.
“I didn’t serve really good in that match, that’s for sure,” Henin remarked. “First round is never easy. So I’m just happy I came through.”
The seven-time Grand Slam winner hit several drop-shot winners and changed her shots keeping Pironkova off balance.
“I’ve worked pretty hard in the last few months, but the way is still very long,” Henin said. “I’m probably less consistent now than I was in terms of keeping the intensity all the time. That’s what I’m working on at the moment.”
Her win marks her 22nd consecutive match victory at the French Open.
Maria Sharapova was also able to win in her first round match, defeating Ksenia Pervak in straight sets 6-3, 6-2.
Currently, Online Sportsbooks have Henin installed as the betting favorite to win the 2010 French Open, with Serena Williams and Jelena Jankovic following in the string of betting favorites.