Following an impressive return to form on clay, former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova arrives in Paris armed with slightly more confidence than she could have mustered several months ago. The 2012 Roland Garros champion will begin her latest campaign on Tuesday afternoon, as she is scheduled to meet fellow Russian Ksenia Pervak for the second time on the professional circuit. Coincidentally, their only other meeting also took place at the French Open – a bout that Sharapova won handily back in 2010.
The World No. 8 may have begun her season with a few blunders that caused her to tumble down the rankings slightly, she managed to regain much of her pre-surgery form at the start of the clay court season. In Madrid, she defeated a gauntlet of opponents including Samantha Stosur, Li Na, Agnieszka Radwanska and Simona Halep in the final. Prior to that she had retained the title in Stuttgart, defeating Radwanksa, Errani and Ivanovic in the process. She would finish of her pre-French Open tune-up in with a disappointing loss to Ana Ivanovic.
World No. 160 Ksenia Pervak reached the main draw of the French Open after working her way through the qualifying rounds earlier in the week. While she managed to reach the final of an ITF tournament in Midland in February, she only played one WTA tour main draw contest, which she lost to Roberta Vinci in Katowice.
This marks the second time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour. Their first meeting took place at this very event four years ago and was a bout that Sharapova won 6-3, 6-2. The result in this upcoming bout is not likely to be much different.
Prediction: Maria Sharapova in Straight Sets