Smooth progress for big names in Paris

th, is the highest-ranked woman to depart Roland Garros so far. The Polish player’s poor recent form continued after losing in three sets against German Annika Beck. Williams (15) was beaten in straight-sets by fellow US player Sloane Stephens, and exited a grand slam event in the opening round for the third time in her last seven majors.Barbora Strycova (22), Peng Shuai (24) and Caroline Garcia (31) are the other seeds already out. There were no such problems for defending champion Maria Sharapova, not on the court anyway. The Russian beat Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi 6-2 6-4 but was jeered by the fans on Philippe Chatrier for avoiding her post-match interview. The number two seed cited a cold as her reason for making a quick exit after her win. She faces fellow Russian Vitalia Diatchenko in round two. Among the names joining Sharapova in the next round are Simona Halep (3), Ana Ivanovic (7), Carla Suarez Navarro (8) and Ekaterina Makarova (9). Serena Williams begins her quest to become the first player to win the opening two grand slam events of the year since Jennifer Capriati (2001), against Czech Andrea Hlavackova on day three.]]>