PARIS (Reuters) - Maria Sharapova's French Open title defense got off to a comfortable start as she beat Estonian Kaia Kanepi 6-2 6-4 in the first round on Monday.
The second seed, who will face fellow Russian Vitalia Diatchenko, was rarely bothered in a late-afternoon canter on Court Philippe Chatrier.
Sharapova, wearing a sailor shirt and a matching blue skirt, wasted chances to move 4-0 up as Kanepi broke back to trail 3-2, but normal service soon resumed.
The double Roland Garros champion won three games in a row to win the opening set having made only four unforced errors.
Kanepi buried a backhand into the net to hand Sharapova a break in the fourth game of the second set, but the Estonian broke back as the unforced errors started to pile up on the Russian's stats sheet.
Sharapova wasted one match point but a Kanepi double fault ensured a routine victory.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Martyn Herman)