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
March 5, 2014 -- Updated 1014 GMT (1814 HKT)
After two decades dedicated to the game, Amelie Mauresmo wants a second life -- one away from tennis.
Almost five years to the day after reducing Roger Federer to tears at the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal shed a few in his own loser's speech.
February 2, 2014 -- Updated 0248 GMT (1048 HKT)
Li Na outperformed Maria Sharapova at the Australian Open, but can she now surpass the Russian as the world's richest female athlete?
Roger Federer may have lost again to Rafael Nadal in the business end of a grand slam, but he can take some heart from yet another record says CNN's Will Edmonds.
January 21, 2014 -- Updated 1358 GMT (2158 HKT)
Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg, Novak Djokovic and Boris Becker -- today's tennis stars are teaming up with past legends of the game.
January 15, 2014 -- Updated 1859 GMT (0259 HKT)
Can't stand the heat of the first tennis grand slam of 2014? Then you clearly haven't been doing enough Bikram yoga.
After nearly a decade without any real change at the top of men's tennis, CNN's Will Edmonds looks at next generation of future stars.
January 9, 2014 -- Updated 1314 GMT (2114 HKT)
Ana Ivanovic is still seeking to rediscover the form that took her to the top of the rankings -- but she has found a new lease of life.
January 6, 2014 -- Updated 1142 GMT (1942 HKT)
As a teen sensation, Bernard Tomic had the tennis world at his feet -- but he's in danger of blowing it, says Australian great Pat Rafter.
December 31, 2013 -- Updated 1532 GMT (2332 HKT)
Roger Federer becomes the latest tennis star to turn to a former legend for help, adding his "childhood hero" Stefan Edberg to his coaching team.
December 20, 2013 -- Updated 1750 GMT (0150 HKT)
CNN's Open Court meets the three grand slam winners of 2013 and asks who will rule next year?
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 1517 GMT (2317 HKT)
South Africa may just have found another Paralympian to inspire a nation -- and perhaps the world.
Today's five most popular stories