Maria Sharapova Defeats Su-Wei Hsieh to Advance at 2013 French Open

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistMay 27, 2013

ROME, ITALY - MAY 16:  Maria Sharapova of Russia blows a kiss to the crowd after her straight sets victory against Sloane Stephens of the USA in their third round match during day five of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia 2013 at the Foro Italico Tennis Centre on May 16, 2013 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Russian women's tennis star Maria Sharapova defeated Taiwan’s Su-Wei Hsieh, 6-2, 6-1, to advance in the 2013 French Open at Roland Garros.  


Su-Wei Hsieh (TPE)   2  1  --
Maria Sharapova (RUS) [2]  6  6  --


The opening-round matchup was a dominant showing by Sharapova, and the tennis sensation showed that her career resurgence hasn’t ceased yet. Now the 2012 French Open champion takes another step toward defending her title.

Sharapova is still riding the momentum from her semifinals appearance at the 2013 Australian Open, but she is looking for much more success on the clay courts of Roland Garros.

It’s win or bust for Sharapova.

While Hsieh deserves credit as a solid tennis player, she isn’t on the same level as Sharapova, and the result of Monday’s action proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt.

The rest of the women in the field this year should watch the film of Sharapova’s match and be fearful of the tennis star. The Russian is playing as well right now as she was this time last year.

Using her incredible serve and her long reach to get lateral almost as quickly as anyone on tour, there is little doubt that Sharapova is a favorite to win it all and would be immensely disappointed by anything less than a Grand Slam victory.

The No. 2 seed in the tournament has an ideal path to a championship, but that doesn’t mean she won’t be tested by one of the more impressive French Open fields of the last five years.

Sharapova has five other ranked tennis players in her quarter of the draw—not counting her own high seed—including the always tough Petra Kvitova. With so much competition, she will have to earn her way into championship contention.

Unfortunately for the rest of the field, Sharapova has the talent and experience on clay courts to walk away with the 2013 French Open championship like she did last year.