Sania to open her French Open campaign against Voskoboeva

Paris: India’s Sania Mirza has been drawn to play Kazakhstan’s Galina Voskoboeva in her opening round of the French Open.

The two players have met only once, in hard courts of San Diego in 2005, where Sania currently, ranked 91, beat Voskoboeva, ranked 95.

However, the winner between the two, in the next round is likely to meet seventh-seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova who has got an easy opponent in local girl Claire Feuerstein, according to the draw released here today.

Sania, who has not played much on clay this season, missed the French Open last year due to a chronic wrist injury that plagued her much of last year. She made a comeback in January and won the Australian Open mixed doubles title with compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi.

She went on to reach the final of the Pattaya Open in February but after that her performance graph came spiralling down with a series of early exits.

She recently participated in the Madrid Masters but failed to make it to the singles main draw after a straight loss to France’s Aravane Rezai in the first round of the qualifying round. She, however, made it to the doubles semi-final with Chia-Jung Chuang.

Sania has never moved beyond the second round of the French Open but then clay has never been her favourite surface.

Meanwhile, the women’s top seed Russian Dinara Safina will open against Briton Anne Keothavong while second-seeded Serena Williams will face Czech Klara Zakopalova. Third-seeded Venus Williams is pitted against compatriot Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

In the men’s singles, top seed and defending champion Rafael Nadal will meet a qualifier while second seed and three-times finalist here Roger Federer will play Spaniard Alberto Martin. Third seed Briton Andy Murray takes on Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela.(IANS)