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PARIS, May 24 /TASS/. Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova is ready to defend her champion’s title at the French Open Tennis Tournament, which is kicking off at the Roland Garros clay courts on Sunday. The Russian won the French Open last year and has been in the final for three times.
The second-seeded Sharapova will meet Kaia Kanepi of Estonia in the first round. Maria has recovered after her injury, which prevented her from taking part in the Fed Cup match vs. Germany in Sochi in April. She won the recent clay tournament in Rome.
Other Russians playing at Roland Garros include Yekaterina Makarova /9/; Svetlana Kuznetsova /18/, Yelena Vesnina, Yevgeniya Rodina, Anastasiya Pavlyuchenkova, Vitaliya Dyachenko and qualifier Margarita Gasparyan.
Mikhail Yuzhnyi, Teimuraz Gabashvili and Andrei Kuznetsov will perform in men’s tournament. .
First seeded American Serena Williams has won the French Open only twice in 2002 and 2013 when she defeated Sharapova in the final.
Sharapova has two French Open titles to her credit.
World number one Serb Novak Djokovic is a favourite in men’s competitions though Spaniard Rafael Nadal, who has nine French Open titles, is considered to be the king of clay.
Double and mixed matches will also be played. Juniors, veterans and wheelchair invalids will compete in separate competitions. The French Open total prize fund is more than 28 million US dollars.