by Sportsmail Reporter
PUBLISHED: 17:23 EST, 27 may 2012 | UPDATED: 17:23 EST, 27 may 2012
Seven-time grand slam champion Venus Williams survived a first-round scare at the French Open on Sunday.
Williams, who reached the quarter-finals in Rome a fortnight ago, looked sluggish early on against 19-year-old Paula Ormaechea before coming through 4-6 6-1 6-3.
Under pressure: Venus Williams returns the ball to Paula Ormaechea
Argentinian Ormaechea threatened an upset early on but once Williams found her range there was only going to be one winner.
The veteran American could play Agnieszka Radwanska in round two.
Radwanska won their last meeting, in Miami, in March.
Sixth seed Samantha Stosur made largely untroubled progress into round two with a straight-sets win over Great Britain’s Elena Baltacha.
Dressed for success: Venus Williams was sporting a natty number in her victory
The Australian broke serve in the second game of the match and, though Baltacha recovered and was back on serve at 5-4, she dropped her serve and the set in game 10 and it was one-way traffic from then on.
The match was afforded the stadium stage of Philippe Chatrier Court but it became a no-contest as Baltacha won just nine points in the second set.
Stosur, runner-up to Francesco Schiavone at Roland Garros two years ago, clinched victory on her third match point to reach the last 64.
Paula power: Ormaechea gave Venus Williams all she could handle
American Irina Falconi awaits in round two after a 3-6 6-3 6-1 win over Romania’s Edina Gallovits-Hall and Stosur said: ‘I played Falconi recently in Indian Wells.
‘I think it’s again one of those matches where I’ve got to go out there and think about my own tennis more than necessarily hers. I’m always going to try and go out there and play my game.
‘But I guess I’ve got two days to now think about it and be ready for that next one.’
Super Serb: Ana Ivanovic
Serbian Ana Ivanovic, the winner here four years ago, looked impressive in her 6-1 6-1 demolition of Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino.
‘I think first round, it’s always tough,’ she said. ‘There are always nerves to begin with. Playing Sunday, as well, I actually wanted to play the first day, but still there were some nerves in the beginning.’
Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 26th seed, was also a straight-sets winner but had to dig in after a second-set fightback by Croatian underdog Mirjana Lucic.
The Russian strolled through the first set 6-1 but was pegged back to 3-3 in the second before riding out the wobble to win 6-1 6-3.
‘I had been playing pretty well, pretty focused,’ she said. ‘Just at some stage the match turned around a little bit.
‘One, two points turned everything away, and then I had to fight back at 3-3 to make it 6-3.’
Kuznetsova, the 2009 champion, is delighted to be back at Roland Garros and said: ‘It’s a great feeling, just very nice.
‘I love this tournament. Even before I won I always enjoyed coming here. It’s a special atmosphere here, I’m really enjoying it.’
Angelique Kerber – whose run to the semi-finals at Rome, on the back of a title win in Copenhagen, helped her secure a top-10 seeding – continued her good form with a 6-3 6-4 win over China’s Shuai Zhang.
But she insisted it was not an easy match, telling reporters: ‘It’s every time hard to play first round in a grand slam. she was playing very good, especially the second set was very close and a little bit tight for both of us.
‘But, yeah, I’m very happy to manage this and be in the second round.’
Italian 21st seed Sara Errani started slowly against Casey Dellacqua, dropping the first set to the Australian, but came back to win 4-6 6-2 6-2.
Lucie Safarova, seeded 20th, had less trouble seeing off Anastasiya Yakimova of Belarus, winning 6-2 6-0.
Spain’s Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez battled all the way to beat Czech Eva Birnerova 4-6 6-4 8-6, while American Melanie Oudin beat Sweden’s Johanna Larsson 6-3 6-3.