May 27, 2005
-- The young French girl Aravane Rezai used her wild card to good
in the first round of the French Open, disposing
Pin (2-6, 6-2, 6-2).
Of Iranian descent, 18-year-old Rezai never knows she
is beaten and shrugged off 64 unforced errors to turn things
Currently 244 in the world,
Rezai has won four ITF clay tournaments over the last eight
months, but facing Maria
Sharapova was a massive step up for her on the show court.
Still, French wildcard Rezai gave
Second-seed Sharapova her fair share of problems but the Wimbledon
saw her talent
prevail at Roland Garros.
Sharapova, who has not always
been comfortable on clay, fell 3-1 down as the home player started
like a train.
Sharapova later explained: "She had nothing to lose, and she
was just going for her shots. Some balls were just too good. But
I finally started feeling a good rhythm out there, began playing
Once that happened, Sharapova - who twisted her ankle during
that early spell - hit back and reeled off six straight games to
up a 6-3 1-0 lead, with a break of serve.
Many would have expected the world number two to roll on to an
easy victory from there, but Rezai was not finished yet and she
broke back and fought on to 2-2.
At that stage, Sharapova moved up a gear again and finally sealed
a 6-3 6-2 win in 67 minutes.
Sharapova made just 13 unforced errors on her way to a last-32
meeting with fellow Russian Anna Chakvetadze.
Sent by Baback Khiavchi
Who's your Iranian of the day?