Ivanovic impresses on Rome clay to dispatch Kuznetsova
May 14, 2012 -- Updated 1701 GMT (0101 HKT)
Ana Ivanovic serves during her straight sets victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova at the Italian Open in Rome.
- Ana Ivanovic through to second round of Italian Open in Rome
- Former No.1 Ivanovic beats Svetlana Kuznetsova in straight sets
- Foro Italico hosts star-studded joint ATP/WTA tournament
- Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka head the respective fields
(CNN) -- Ana Ivanovic won a battle of former French Open champions as she dispatched Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova in straight sets at the WTA tournament in Rome Monday.
Ivanovic claimed her only grand slam win at Roland Garros in 2008 and boosted her preparation for another tilt at the title in Paris later this month with a 6-4 6-3 victory.
Windy conditions at the Foro Italico hindered both players during a 73-minute match, but it was Serbia's Ivanovic who adapted the better.
"It was hard to play, especially on the service because of the strong gusts of wind," she told the official tournament website.
"I'm achieving a good level thanks to the work I'm doing with my coach," she added.
Ivanovic took all five of her break point opportunities against Kuznetsova, who succeeded her as French Open champion in 2009.
Two breaks of service in the opener gave Ivanovic the advantage and she broke through three more times in a second set, including to love in the final game as she wrapped up victory.
She faces either Alberta Brianti of Italy or Spaniard Silvia Soler in the second round and a potential last 16 clash against Russian star Maria Sharapova awaits the 13th seed.
The joint ATP/WTA tournament has attracted a stellar field, with the men's event boasting the top four in the world, led by defending champion Novak Djokovic.
He beat the 'king of clay' Rafael Nadal in the 2011 final, but both exited early at last week's Madrid Masters on the controversial blue surface.
Roger Federer took advantage to leapfrog Nadal for second spot in the rankings with his 20th Masters Series title.
But Nadal told the official tournament website that this did not concern him.
"To be number two or three isn't going to change my game.
"I am here in Rome and it is one of my favorite tournaments. I am motivated to play my best," he added.
Women's world number one Victoria Azarenka will also be in action later in the week, coming off her final defeat in Madrid to a rejuvenated Serena Williams, who is also in the draw in Italy's premier tennis tournament.
Part of complete coverage on
May 1, 2013 -- Updated 1129 GMT (1929 HKT)
She towers above him, but she can't do without him. Meet the man who has made Maria Sharapova the world's wealthiest female athlete.
April 22, 2013 -- Updated 1511 GMT (2311 HKT)
When Maria Sharapova underwent shoulder surgery five years ago, many thought her tennis career wouldn't last.
April 18, 2013 -- Updated 1258 GMT (2058 HKT)
Nine-year-old Rebecca Suarez stunned onlookers when she was pulled out of the crowd to team up with Del Potro against Nadal.
April 18, 2013 -- Updated 2115 GMT (0515 HKT)
Janko Tipsarevic is of the belief that his fellow professionals aren't doping -- or at least not on a widespread basis.
March 21, 2013 -- Updated 1429 GMT (2229 HKT)
Agnieszka and Urszula Radwanska are hoping to take their relationship to a new level by emulating tennis' most famous female sisters.
March 26, 2013 -- Updated 1324 GMT (2124 HKT)
Open Court meets Poland's world No. 4 Agniezska Radwanska, who's making waves on the women's tennis scene.
March 21, 2013 -- Updated 1402 GMT (2202 HKT)
America's 18-time grand slam champion Chris Evert talks to Open Court about her career and training the next generation of players.
March 21, 2013 -- Updated 1344 GMT (2144 HKT)
CNN's Don Riddell speaks with 11-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal during one of his comeback tournaments in Mexico.
March 21, 2013 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
Germany's veteran star Tommy Haas opens up to Pat Cash about being away from family on tour, and his many injuries.
March 11, 2013 -- Updated 1150 GMT (1950 HKT)
You'd think John Isner and Nicolas Mahut would be sick of the sight of each other, but their friendship has grown since that epic match.
March 4, 2013 -- Updated 1608 GMT (0008 HKT)
Almost a decade after Andy Roddick's sole U.S. Open victory, America is still waiting for its next male grand slam winner. What's gone wrong?
February 21, 2013 -- Updated 1621 GMT (0021 HKT)
Open Court's Pat Cash meets American No. 1 John Isner, who experts claim has the potential to win a grand slam.
February 25, 2013 -- Updated 0917 GMT (1717 HKT)
CNN's Pat Cash looks at who the next U.S. grand slam champion might be.
February 21, 2013 -- Updated 1545 GMT (2345 HKT)
CNN's Patrick Snell looks at how the famous couple is helping groom the next generation of tennis stars.
February 25, 2013 -- Updated 1009 GMT (1809 HKT)
With his sights set on the top, Ryan Harrison is the youngest player to win a professional match in 20 years.
February 21, 2013 -- Updated 1612 GMT (0012 HKT)
He's "Mac the Mouth" both on and off the court -- one of the most controversial and iconic players in tennis history, and he's still talking up a storm.
January 29, 2013 -- Updated 1131 GMT (1931 HKT)
Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have transformed their careers since discovering a diet secret that is battling for mainstream acceptance.
January 28, 2013 -- Updated 1500 GMT (2300 HKT)
Novak Djokovic knew he was going to be a tennis star from an early age when growing up in war-torn Belgrade.
January 17, 2013 -- Updated 1325 GMT (2125 HKT)
Nine women, a bold proposal and a $1 bill. That was what it took for women's tennis to begin a 40-year journey of self-empowerment.
Today's five most popular stories