Full first-round draw:
The following is an excerpt from my analysis of the whole draw, which is available to members of the jeldani Yahoo! Group:
(I think you'll approve of my wishes for the tournament!)
17. VERA ZVONARËVA  v qualifier (DAVAI BEPA!!)
19. qualifier v Maria Kirilenko (davai Maria!)
21. Jelena Kostanic v Tamarine Tanasugarn
23. Vera Douchevina v MARY PIERCE  (allez Mary!)
25. FLAVIA PENNETTA  v Jill Craybas (forza Flavia!)
27. Marta Domachowska v Stéphanie Cohen-Aloro (dawaj Marta!)
29. qualifier v qualifier
31. Yoon Jeong Cho v PATTY SCHNYDER 
I would love to see Bepa win this tournament, but the draw has not been kind to her. But then I thought she had a bad draw in Rome, where she put a string of bad losses behind her to beat Jelena Jankovic and reach the semi-finals! :D
A qualifier, by definition, has just won three matches on clay, so we can't take Bepa's first-round match for granted.
The second round promises a mouthwatering clash between Bepa and Maria Kirilenko (who have never played each other) - a match with no shortage of prettiness, cuteness, and flairsome talent. It's a real shame that they have to meet so early, because they both deserve to reach the second week. Little Maria may well follow Bepa into my eternal fanship, but my loyalty is with Bepa who is already there.
A third-round match against Pierce would be tough. The Australian Open 1995 and French Open 2000 champion is still a force to be reckoned with at the age of 30; she beat Bepa in their only meeting (Fed Cup 2003 semi-finals on carpet), and knocked Maria Sharapova out of the US Open 2004.
Pierce has one of the hardest forehands I've ever seen in women's tennis, and is not at all unattractive, but she plays very mechanically, working out every rally in advance, so Bepa would have to use all her resourcefulness to find ways to test Mary's instincts and ability to "think on her feet".
Patty Schnyder in the fourth round would be a massive test for Bepa, as Schnyder beat Maria Sharapova in the semi-finals of Rome last week, keeping Maria off the #1 ranking and knocking Bepa out of the top ten. Schnyder certainly knows her way around a clay court, but at least Bepa has a 2-0 head-to-head against her (both on clay).
Dr. Andrew Broad
Court 6 (start 11:00 CEST = 09:00 GMT = 10:00 BST)
MS 1r: Paradorn Srichaphan v RADEK TEPÁNEK 
WS 1r: L'udmila Cervanová v Aiko Nakamura
MS 1r: DAVID NALBANDIAN  v Marcos Baghdatis
WS 1r: VERA ZVONARËVA  v Yvonne Meusburger [Q]
How Meusburger qualified:
1q + Cara Black, 6-0 3-6 6-3
2q + Martina Müller, 6-4 6-4
3q + Alice Canepa, 6-3 2-6 7-5
These results should do little to send shivers down Bepa's spine. While Meusburger has a 23-11 win/loss record for 2005 so far, her wins have only come in qualifying or in ITF tournaments (she won two $25k ITF tournaments earlier this year).
Maria Kirilenko has an easy first-round match against Eva Birnerová, who is two years older but only 18% as accomplished in professional tennis as Little Maria (and only 18% as pretty, I might add! ;) ).
So a mouthwatering Bepa v Little Maria second-round match looks very much on the cards for Wednesday! :)
Dr. Andrew Broad
Show me the way to the second round
I've been weeping like a bad wound
Crying over the second round
Where sweet Maria waits for me
This is what I hoped Bepa would be singing by the end of Monday. Unfortunately Maria Kirilenko blew a great start to lose 2-6 7-5 6-3 to qualifier Eva Birnerová, despite having 0/40 when Birnerová served for the match at 5-3.
I am really disappointed not to have that mouthwatering Bepa v Little Maria second round, and in Little Maria who I really thought had `arrived' this year. These are the losses that hurt most, when what looks like a routine win suddenly turns nasty (as this one did when Little Maria fell 0-3 behind in the second - she fought back to lead 6-2 4-3 with a break, but it was all in vain).
I guess I jinxed Little Maria by saying that it was an easy match for her. Oh well - Birnerová will easily beat Bepa in the second round, I have no doubt about that! ;)
So how did Bepa do yesterday? Like Daniela Hantuchová she beat a qualifier 6-3 6-1 in the first round - Yvonne Meusburger.
Zvonarëv *@*___*@* 6
Meusburg ___*@*___ 3
The match was scheduled for Court 6, but was moved to Court 1. By the time I noticed (at 18:36 CEST), Bepa had just held for 1-0.
BP = break-point, SP = set-point, MP = match-point
Bepa serving 0-0: held to love.
Meusburger serving 0-1: broken to love.
Bepa serving 2-0: 15/0, 15/15, 30/15, 30/30, 40/30, held.
Meusburger serving 0-3: 15/0, 15/15, 15/30, 30/30, 30/40 (BP), 40/40, ad M, held.
Bepa serving 3-1: 0/30, 15/30, 15/40 (2 BPs), broken.
Meusburger serving 2-3: 40/0, 40/30, held.
Bepa serving 3-3: held to love.
Meusburger serving 3-4: 15/0, 15/15, 15/40 (2 BPs), broken.
Bepa serving for the first set at 5-3: 0/15, 15/15, 30/15, 30/30, 30/40 (BP), 40/40, ad B (SP), Bepa won the first set 6-3 at 19:08.
Perhaps because of the frantic start, this set seemed to go really fast for me, like a Jelena Dokic set. A bit up and down for Bepa, but a very sweet ending. I hope she's not going to go the same way as Maria Kirilenko after winning the first set! :(
Bepa's path to the second round looks very clear now that she's a set and a break up! :)
Bepa serving 2-1: 0/15, 15/15, 40/15, held.
Meusburger serving 1-3: 0/30, 15/30, 15/40 (2 BPs) -> 40/40, ad B (BP #3), Deuce #2, ad B (BP #4), broken.
Bepa serving 4-1: 0/15, 15/15, 15/40 (2 BPs) -> 40/40, ad B, held.
It might be just the gulf in ability, but Bepa is playing the close games so well today, and isn't getting fazed by the 15/40 -> 40/40 syndrome that has been Maria Sharapova's undoing a couple of times this year (albeit against a different level of opponent).
Meusburger serving to stay in the match at 1-5: 30/0, 30/15, 40/15 -> 40/40, ad B (MP), Bepa won 6-3 6-1 at 19:42.
Bepa's winner:unforced-error ratio was in the red at 25:29, but it certainly paid off against Meusburger's 6:26 (very hard to hit a winner past Bepa on clay!).
The statistics also show that Bepa's first serve was much faster than Meusburger's, and that Bepa utilised her beautiful volleys well, winning 11 of 16 points at the net.
Bepa broke 5 times from 10 break-points, while Meusburger broke once from 5.
Bepa's French Open profile:
Dr. Andrew Broad
Court 7 (start 11:00 CEST = 09:00 GMT = 10:00 BST)
MS 2r: DAVID NALBANDIAN  v Tomá Berdych
WS 2r: VERA ZVONARËVA  v Eva Birnerová [Q]
MS 2r: Robin Vik v CARLOS MOYÁ 
WS 2r: Sandra Klösel v PATTY SCHNYDER 
Full order of play:
Dr. Andrew Broad
Like Maria Sharapova yesterday, Vera overcame a dreadful start and the loss of the first set, to see off qualifier Eva Birnerová 4-6 6-3 6-0.
Zvonarëva ____*@* *_ 4
Birnerová @*@*___* * 6
Started 13:15 CEST.
Vera serving 0-0: 0/30, 15/30, 15/40 (2 BPs) -> 40/40, ad B (BP #3), Deuce #2, ad B (BP #4), broken.
Birnerová serving 1-0: 0/40 (3 BPs) -> 40/40, ad B, held.
Vera serving 0-2: 30/0, 30/15, 40/15 -> 40/40, ad B (BP), broken.
I hope this isn't how it's going to be today: Vera squandering her opportunities while Birnerová takes hers. But Maria Sharapova made as bad a start as this yesterday (0-3 with two breaks) and won.
Birnerová serving 3-0: 15/0, 15/15, 40/15, held.
Vera serving 0-4: 0/15, 40/15, 40/30, held.
Birnerová serving 4-1: 0/30, 15/30, 15/40 (2 BPs), 30/40, broken.
Vera serving 2-4: 40/0, 40/15, held.
Birnerová serving 4-3: 30/0, 30/15, 40/15 -> 40/40, ad V (BP for 4-4), Deuce #2, ad B, held.
Vera proving again what a terrific fighter she is - perhaps too little too late for this set, but at least she has the momentum on her side ahead of the second set.
Vera serving to stay in the first set at 3-5: 30/0 -> 30/30, 40/30, held.
Birnerová serving for the first set at 5-4: 15/0, 15/30, 40/30 (SP), Birnerová won the first set 6-4 at 13:54.
What a shame. If Vera could have won that last point, I think she would have won the set.
Vera's W:UE ratio of 5:27 needs to improve radically; Birnerová's is also poor at 9:28. Vera served 7 double faults in that set.
Looks like I was right about Vera having the momentum going into this set! :) It's the third set I'm worried about now...
Birnerová serving 0-3: 15/0, 15/15, 40/15, held.
Vera serving 3-1: 0/30 -> 30/30, 40/30, 40/40, ad V, Deuce #2, ad B (BP), broken.
Birnerová serving 2-3: 30/0 -> 30/30, 40/30, 40/40, ad B, Deuce #2, ad B, Deuce #3, ad V (BP), Deuce #4, ad B, held.
I am the kiss of death - it's still time to be worried about the second set! :(
Vera serving 3-3: 15/0, 15/15, 30/15, 30/30, 40/30, held.
Birnerová serving 3-4: 15/0, 15/15, 40/15 -> 40/40, ad B, Deuce #2, ad V (BP), broken.
Vera serving for the second set at 5-3: 0/15, 15/15, 40/15 (2 SPs) -> 40/40, ad V (SP #3), Vera won the second set 6-3 at 14:36.
Vera's W:UE for the second set was a much healthier 10:13, while Birnerová's was 9:18. Vera hit 3 aces, while Birnerová won only 23% of points on her [Birnerová's] second serve.
I feel much more comfortable about Vera's French Open campaign now - although as we saw at 3-0 in the second, the worm can still turn...
Birnerová serving 0-2: 0/30, 15/30, 15/40 (2 BPs), 30/40, broken.
Vera serving 3-0: 15/0, 15/15, 30/15, 30/30, 40/30, held.
Birnerová serving 0-4: 30/0 -> 30/40 (BP), broken.
Vera serving for the match at 5-0: 40/0 (3 MPs) -> 40/40, ad V (MP #4), Vera won 4-6 6-3 6-0 at 14:59.
I've said that Vera's serve is the barometer of her form this year, and unfortunately it was poor today: she got only 47% of first serves in, winning 69% of the points when she did so, and 42% on second serve (Birnerová was worse with 61%, 57% and 34%). Vera served 5 aces but 9 double faults, while Birnerová served 7 double faults.
Vera's final winner:unforced-error ratio was a disappointing 23:45, while Birnerová was much worse with 22:62. Vera broke 6 times from 13 break-points (Birnerová 3 times from 6), and won 6 out of 6 points at the net.
Overall, then, Vera played pretty poorly against an opponent who was much worse. You tend to play to the level of your opponent sometimes, and with all due respect to Birnerová, Vera will have to raise her game considerably in the third round.
There she will play Mary Pierce, champion of the French Open 2000 and Australian Open 1995, and still a force to be reckoned with at the age of 30 (today she beat Jelena Kostanic 6-1 6-0). They've played each other only once, in the Fed Cup 2003 semi-finals, when Pierce won 6-4 3-6 6-3. But that was on carpet - Vera with her superior mobility and retrieval-skills should be much better able to resist the hard-hitting Pierce on red clay, though I'm certainly expecting it to be very difficult.
Vera starts her women's doubles campaign tomorrow: she and Elena Likhovtseva, the fourth seeds, play Janet Lee and Peng,Shuai in the first round on Court 8. Vera is not in the mixed-doubles draw, despite being the reigning US Open champion.
Vera's French Open profile:
Dr. Andrew Broad
Women's doubles - first round:
+ VERA ZVONARËVA/ELENA LIKHOVTSEVA  d. Janet Lee/Peng,Shuai, 6-4 6-3
Women's doubles - second-round draw:
* VERA ZVONARËVA/ELENA LIKHOVTSEVA  vs Catalina Castańo/Yuliana Fedak
Order of play for Friday
Court Chatrier (start 11:00 CEST = 09:00 GMT = 10:00 BST)
WS 3r: DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ  v KIM CLIJSTERS 
MS 3r: ROGER FEDERER  v FERNANDO GONZALEZ 
MS 3r: RAFAEL NADAL  v RICHARD GASQUET 
WS 3r: VERA ZVONARËVA  v MARY PIERCE 
Full order of play:
Dr. Andrew Broad
Bepa made a good start against former champion Mary Pierce, whose go-for-broke style meant she hit most of the winners and errors in this match. Bepa led 5-2 (with one break of serve) after 30 unforced errors from Pierce, but then Pierce found her range and Bepa suffered what UK Teletext described as "a mental wobble, arguing with linesmen, her coach and herself", and lost a long and draining first set 7-6 (7/2 - she had a 2/0 lead in the tiebreak, having had a set-point on Pierce's serve at 5-6 30/40).
Bepa continued to fight in the second set, recovering from 2-4, but Pierce was always one step ahead as they traded six breaks in a row, and according to Teletext, Bepa lost her nerve as Pierce rolled back the years to win 7-6 (7/2) 7-5 in 2h12m.
I like Pierce - in the mid-1990s she was one of the most brilliant and sexy players on the WTA Tour, and I might well have inducted her into my eternal fanship had I not been obsessed with Monica Seles and Iva Majoli to the exclusion of all other players (the gates of my fanship remained shut between 1993 and 1999). It's much easier to forgive Pierce for upsetting Bepa when I remember her glorious 6-2 6-2 annihilation of Steffi Graf in the French Open 1994 semi-finals.
I hope this won't be the first in a long series of missed opportunities for Bepa. Bepa's next service-game will be crucial after those missed break-points.
Bepa serving 1-1: 0/15, 40/15 -> 40/40, ad P (BP), Deuce #2, ad B, held.
The 40/15 -> 40/40 syndrome strikes two games in a row against Bepa! A very important hold, especially after saving a break-point.
Pierce serving 2-1: 0/15, 15/15, 15/30, 40/30, 40/40, ad P, Deuce #2, ad B (BP), Deuce #3, ad B (BP #2), Deuce #4, ad B (BP #3), broken.
Well done Bepa! A long game like that can often turn the momentum in favour of the player who wins it.
Bepa serving 3-1: 0/15, 40/15 -> 40/40, ad B, held.
An important hold to confirm the break, and this is where the advantage of serving first comes into play, when you can be three games ahead with just one break - both a material and a psychological advantage.
Pierce serving 1-4: 0/15, 15/15, 15/30, 40/30, 40/40, ad B (BP), Deuce #2, ad P, Deuce #3, ad P, held.
With a break-point for 5-1, Bepa had a chance to be dominating this set. 4-2 is a much smaller lead, but Bepa has to feel good about her situation rather than dwelling on what might have been.
Bepa serving 4-2: held to love.
Pierce is absolutely dominating the match as only she can at the moment, with a W:UE of 7:30 compared with 4:12 for Bepa.
Pierce serving to stay in the first set at 2-5: held to love.
Bepa serving for the first set at 5-3: 0/30, 15/30, 15/40 (2 BPs), broken.
The IBM NetCam shows Bepa with her face buried in a towel at the changeover. I hope she's not going to suffer a similar fate as when Jelena Dokic blew a 5-1 third-set lead against Pierce at the US Open 2003.
Pierce serving to stay in the first set at 4-5: held to love.
I hope Bepa can pull herself together as she did in the second set against Nadia Petrova at Philadelphia 2004. The score is equal, but the momentum is with Pierce now.
Bepa serving 5-5: 15/0, 15/30, 30/30, 30/40 (BP), 40/40, ad P (BP #2), Deuce #2, ad B, held.
Come on Bepa - break for the set!
Pierce serving to stay in the first set at 5-6: 0/15, 15/15, 15/30, 30/30, 30/40 (SP), 40/40, ad P, held.
And now for a nice game of Russian Roulette...
6-6 tiebreak: Bepa *0/0, 1/0*, 2/0*, *2/1, *2/2, 2/3*, 2/4*, *2/5, *2/6 (4 SPs), Pierce won the first set 7-6 (7/2) at 18:50.
Bepa will need all her resolve and fighting spirit to pull this one out. There's nothing that drains you like having a big lead in the first set and then losing it on a tiebreak - especially when the set lasted 75 minutes!
There's a major heatwave in Paris today which Bepa won't like, even though it's evening now - we've already seen Daniela Hantuchová wilt in midday heat today, and I believe Daniela likes hot weather much more than does Bepa!
Pierce's final W:UE for the first set was 19:37, while Bepa's was 7:24. So Pierce hit a lot of winners and Bepa a lot of UEs since Bepa was 5-2 up.
I hate to say it, but I think Bepa has gone. :( I may not be able to watch this match, but I can imagine - with the help of the W:UE statistics - that Pierce is making Bepa do all the running out there in the heat.
I'm actually beginning to believe Bepa might win this set now.
Pierce serving 4-4: held to love.
Bepa serving to stay in the match at 4-5: 0/15, 40/15, held.
Well done Bepa.
Pierce serving 5-5: 15/0, 15/30, 40/30, held.
Bepa serving to stay in the match at 5-6: 0/40 (3 MPs), Pierce won 7-6 (7/2) 7-5 at 19:47 when Bepa hit a forehand wide.
Pierce finished with a winner-to-unforced-error ratio of 34:55 (1.6 UEs for every winner), while Bepa's final W:UE was 16:42 (2.6 UEs for every winner). But Pierce hits the ball so hard that it's all up to her, really.
Pierce really punished Bepa's second serve: Bepa got 56% of first serves in, winning 65% on first serve and only 22% on second serve (Pierce 73%, 65% and 40%). Bepa hit 3 aces, but didn't help her own cause with 9 double faults.
They had 10 break-points each, but Bepa only broke 4 times while Pierce broke 5 times.
Vera's French Open profile:
Photos: Search Getty Images for "zvonareva"
Dr. Andrew Broad