(photo credit: Associated Press)
Anna Smashnova ran out of steam in the third set as she lost her French Open first-round match 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 to No. 24 seed Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia on Monday.
The match was closer than the final score would indicate, with Srebotnik winning only six points more (86-80) than the veteran Israeli in the two-hour encounter.
It was the third time that Srebotnik bounced Smashnova in the first round at a Grand Slam, the others being the 2002 Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2004. It also ended a three-year run of Smashnova reaching at least the second round in Paris.
Smashnova will remain at the event, where she will play doubles with Virginie Razzano.
No. 31 seed Shahar Pe'er will take the court for the first time on Tuesday, facing unseeded Ukrainian teenager Olga Savchuk. Pe'er, ranked 26th in the world by the WTA, is the clear favorite, despite the fact that Savchuk (104) won their only previous meeting, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 at Tashkent in October, 2004.
Pe'er, arguably the hottest player on the tour, has won 15 of her last 16 singles matches, including taking titles in Prague and Istanbul.
Last year she made her Grand Slam debut as a professional at the French Open, reaching the third round. Pe'er is also registered to play doubles with Marion Bartoli of France, with whom she took the doubles crown in Prague earlier this month.
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