Maria Sharapova: Hot Start Will Mean First French Open Title for the No. 2 Seed

Ben ChodosCorrespondent IIMay 29, 2012

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 29:  Maria Sharapova of Russia plays a forehand in her women's singles first round match against Alexandra Cadantu of Romania during day 3 of the French Open at Roland Garros on May 29, 2012 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Maria Sharapova crushed her opening-round opponent, Alexandra Cadantu, at the French Open, and the momentum will carry her all the way to her first title at Roland Garros.

The Russian star did not give up a point to her Romanian opponent, winning 6-0, 6-0 in straight sets.

Sharapova will face stiff competition on her way to the finals. If she advances to the quarterfinals, she will likely face a brutal matchup with No. 5 seed Serena Williams. If Sharapova is able to beat the American, she still will have to win two more matches against the world’s best in order to get her first win at the French Open and her first Grand Slam since 2008.

Williams, Sharapova and Belarussian Victoria Azarenka are considered the favorites to win the title, according to the Independent.

Sharapova has separated herself form the rest of the contenders by being in remarkable form as of late. She has made the finals in two of the last three Grand Slams after missing the finals in her last 11 majors.

The Russian’s form on clay has been even more impressive. She has been victorious in her last two tournaments, both of which were played on clay courts.

At the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Sharapova defeated Azarenka in straight sets in the finals. Next up was the Italian Open where Sharapova defeated Li Na, last year’s French Open champion, to take home her second consecutive win.

The clay courts at Roland Garros have made the women’s tournament extremely unpredictable in recent years. There have been four different champions in the last four years, and the last three winners were all seeded sixth or lower. 

A champion can come from anywhere in the women’s tournament in Paris, but Sharapova is playing at the top of her game right now. The momentum she built up going into the French Open carried through to a dominating first-round performance. Expect it to continue all the way to the finals.