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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 May 2007, 11:05 GMT 12:05 UK
Sharapova v Loit as it happened
French Open

First round result:

M SHARAPOVA Rus v E LOIT Fra

6-3 7-6 (7-4)

GAME-BY-GAME UPDATES:

By Mark Orlovac

Second set

Sharapova 6-3 7-6 (7-4) Loit
It is all over. Sharapova takes a 5-3 lead only for Loit to get the tie-break back on serve with the help of a fortunate net cord. The Russian ups her game and converts her first match point with a stunning backhand cross-court winner. Loit can be proud of her display while this is probably the test Sharapova needed after a year disrupted by injury.

Sharapova 6-3 6-6 Loit
Great stuff from Sharapova, who is really upping the grunting now. The break is sealed when she swats away a poor shot from Loit that sits up nicely in midcourt. It's tie-break time.

Sharapova 6-3 5-6 Loit
We have a game here. Loit throws everything at this game and her positivety pays off. Two wonderful forehand winners give her two break points which she converts when Sharapova fires into the net. The umbrellas are out now, hope the rain holds up because this is good stuff.

Sharapova 6-3 5-5 Loit
Just when you think Loit has had enough, the 5ft 5in Frenchwoman scampers and battles to put Sharapova on the back foot. Loit holds and Sharapova has some thinking to do.

Sharapova 6-3 5-4 Loit
Loit looks dangerous when aggressive but weak when sitting back and this game highlights that perfectly. At 40-15 down she gives Sharapova the run around but with the court at her mercy, steers a volley wide. Loit has to hold now to stay in the match.

Sharapova 6-3 4-4 Loit
I don't know why I bother to make predictions sometimes. Just as I save that last entry, Sharapova makes a complete horlicks of the Loit service game with a host of unforced errors.

Sharapova 6-3 4-3 Loit
Sharapova reinforces the break and holds serve after Loit goes long. The Russian surely now has the momentum to finish things off pretty quickly.

Sharapova 6-3 3-3 Loit
Loit is handed a lucky break after she manages to reach a Sharapova drop shot and with the help of the net cord, just gets the ball over. Loit does not make full use of it though and promptly produces two double faults. Sharapova breaks back to restore parity and Loit vents her frustration with a wild swing of her racket.

Sharapova 6-3 2-3 Loit
Loit comes out firing and her attacking mindset unsettles Sharapova. The Frenchwoman goes 40-0 up but wastes all three break points as Sharapova fights back to deuce. Loit could have easily crumbled but regains her composure to claim the first break of the set.

Sharapova 6-3 2-2 Loit
Chants of "Emilie, Emilie" ring out as the French public start to fill up the stands. The support seems to do Loit good as she holds comfortably.

Sharapova 6-3 2-1 Loit
Two superb winners help Loit gain a break point but she wastes the opportunity by firing into the net. Sharapova needs little invitation to hit back and is able to dig herself out of a hole.

Sharapova 6-3 1-1 Loit
Loit again is under pressure but battles back after saving two break points to hold her serve. The 27-year-old is determined not to roll over and let this match disappear from her.

Sharapova 6-3 1-0 Loit
There is a moment of humour as Loit, desperately chasing a Sharapova winner, chucks her racket at the ball only to see it bounce into the crowd. Thankfully it does not hit anyone and Loit receives a stern look from the umpire. The number two seed holds comfortably.

First set

Sharapova 6-3 Loit
Sharapova earns two break points after she opens up her body and fizzes a bullet of a forehand past the scrambling Loit. The Frenchwoman then fires into the net and Sharapova takes the first set in 49 minutes. Although Sharapova has made more unforced she leads the winners stats by 15 to four.

Sharapova 5-3 Loit
Sharapova stops the rot with a battling hold. She mixes a fine backhand cross-court winner and a perfectly-judged drop with a double fault and a misplaced forehand. She is not having it all her own way.

Sharapova 4-3 Loit
Loit is keeping her head above water in this set as Sharapova starts to produce some scrappy play. Loit is coming into this tournament with a bit of form, she won her third career title in Acapulco in March and has reached four other quarter-finals in 2007.

Sharapova 4-2 Loit
A double fault and an unforced error give Loit her first break point of the contest. Sharapova then fires a routine forehand wide and Loit claims the break. Maybe I was a bit too hasty in writing her off.

Sharapova 4-1 Loit
This set is as good as over. Sharapova is handed a second break as Loit limply double faults for the fourth time. After an encouraging start, Loit seems to be losing her way.

Sharapova 3-1 Loit
The break has not affected Sharapova and she holds with ease. She is helped by a looping miss hit that bounces just inside the baseline which Loit fires into the net.

"After yesterday's sunshine it's back to cold, wind and the looming threat of rain at Roland Garros. Maybe that's why there are more people watching Sharapova from the press gallery than the stands."
BBC Sport's Piers Newbery at Roland Garros

1032: Here we go, Loit comes back on and we are ready to resume. Some people in the stands are holding umbrellas so could rain be on the way? It does look a little bleak out there.

1027: That's not a good sign. Loit calls for a trainer and after an initial assessment of her lower back, the Frenchwoman strolls off with a bit of a limp to receive treatment at a place where the cameras are excluded. Sharapova meanwhile, puts on a tracksuit top to keep out the cold and works on her serve.

Sharapova 2-1 Loit
First blood to Sharapova. At break point down, Loit seems in control but puts a simple drop volley into the net. That shot will not be part of Loit's 'Best of' DVD.

Sharapova 1-1 Loit
The Russian has little trouble as she holds her serve to 15. Her groundstrokes are causing Loit a few problems.

Sharapova 0-1 Loit
Sharapova's trademark grunt is already at a significant volume as she puts Loit's serve under immense pressure. Loit manages to save an incredible seven break points before finally winning the game. What a start.

1008: Morning troops. We are ready for the fourth day of action and we have the first-round contest between Maria Sharapova and Emilie Loit.

The pair have met three times before, with Sharapova winning twice. The warm-up is over and play is about to begin at a sparse-looking Philippe Chatrier Court - the fans are obviously still eating their breakfasts.



SEE ALSO
Wednesday's order of play
29 May 07 |  Tennis
Tennis on the BBC
22 May 07 |  Tennis
Contact the BBC TV tennis team
24 May 07 |  Tennis
Women's French Open draw
25 May 07 |  Tennis
Men's French Open draw
25 May 07 |  Tennis


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