“I remember mainly my first ever Grand Slam main draw (2002) here at Roland-Garros. I qualified, made it to the fourth round, lost to Serena Williams in three sets eventually,” stated the Russian, who fell at the third qualifying hurdle on Parisian clay last autumn.
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“It was a great run and I have special memories from playing in Paris and of course I want to make more, to do as well as I did in the past, maybe better. I’m still trying.”
There was a second success for Georgian fans with Ekaterine Gorgodze overcoming Mexican 28th seed Renata Zarazua 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 earlier on Monday.
Meanwhile, Egypt's Mayar Sherif endured numerous rain delays and fought back from a set down to overcome 19-year-old Polish lefty Maja Chwalinska 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 in a two-hour, 47-minute affair.
Sherif, ranked 120 in the world and seeded 13 in qualifying, made history last year in Paris when she became the first Egyptian woman to feature in a Grand Slam main draw after blasting through her qualifiers without dropping a set.
The Cairene stretched No.2 seed Karolina Pliskova to three sets before succumbing in the opening round and is looking to advance to the main draw at a third consecutive major.
The 25-year-old Sherif will take on Romanian world No.152 Jacqueline Cristian next.