Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Rising stars say goodbye to Paris

France's Nathalie Dechy, whose singles career has been on the decline, took out the talented young Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in the first round. She now faces Amelie Mauresmo.

Ukraine's Julia Vakulenko, whom I expected to advance easily into the second round, fell to Ioana Olaru of Romania in the first round.

Yesterday, it was up-and-comer Agni Radwanska and Aravane Rezai who were sent packing by Mara Santangelo and Marion Bartoli, respectively. Today it was the extremely talented Tamira Paszek of Austria who lost to Justine Henin in straight sets (7-5, 6-1) and Caroline Wozniacki, who was defeated by Nathalie Dechy, who handed her a bagel in the third set. Dechy has struggled ever since she returned from a long injury break, and has not been able to return to her high position in the rankings. Perhaps this victory will serve as a confidence-booster for the talented Frenchwoman.

Another rising star to leave the scene today was Kaia Kanepi who lost, understandably, to Shahar Peer. And an even bigger rising star, Victoria Azarenka, was knocked out, 6-1, 6-1, by Karin Knapp.

It was a sad day for fans of Julia Vakulenko, who was beaten in straight sets by Ioana Olaru, who is getting quite a bit of attention these days. This was Olaru's first Grand Slam match. I saw her play last month in Charleston, and wasn't that impressed, but after hearing more about her, I think I must have seen her on a bad day.

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