Expect Venus and Serena to move on

Updated: May 26, 2004, 8:25 PM ET
By Howie Schwab | Special to ESPN.com

Do you think Serena and Venus Williams' eyes lit up when they saw Justine Henin-Hardenne lost in the second round to Tathiana Garbin? Yes, the Williams sisters are both in the other half of the draw, but their chances of winning the title improved with the Henin-Hardenne shocker.

Serena Williams has a second-round match Thursday against the world's 100th-ranked player, Russia's Maria Kirilenko. Given the early success of Russian women in this tournament, Williams can't take this match lightly.

Venus Williams meets Croatian Jelena Kostanic, a tougher foe based on rankings (she's 39th in the world). Kostanic has gone past the second round of a Grand Slam just once, at the 2000 Australian Open. Look for both Williams sisters to move on.

Potential show stoppers

  • 19-year-old Argentine Gisela Dulko is taking on yet another older player. First she dispatched Martina Navratilova with relative ease. Her second-round opponent is 32-year-old Conchita Martinez, who has been to the quarterfinals or better at Roland Garros 11 times.

    Conchita Martinez
    Martinez

  • The French should have a lot to cheer for. Virginie Razzano is trying to reach the third round for the third time in her career; not bad for someone who turned 21 earlier this month. She has a tough test against 17th-seed Francesca Schiavone. Meanwhile, France's Mary Pierce, seeded 30th, faces pesky left-hander Gala Leon Garcia of Spain.

  • 12th-seeded Ai Sugiyama has a tough challenge against Virginia Ruano Pascual. Known for her doubles play, Ruano Pascual hasn't made the third round at the French since 1998, though she has a legitimate shot of scoring an upset here.

  • American Shenay Perry, a 19-year-old ranked 110th in the world, finally won a first round Grand Slam match. Now she meets Katerina Srebotnik of Slovenia, who made the round of 16 at Roland Garros in 2002.

    Ones to watch

    Roger Federer
    Federer

  • On the men's side, top-seed Roger Federer lost just four games in his first-round rout. He might lose a few more against German Nicolas Kiefer, but he should move on. Defending champion Juan Carlos Ferrero lost a set to Tommy Haas in the first round but got his act together. He shouldn't have as much trouble with Igor Andreev, who's the world's 77th-ranked player and is in his first French Open.

  • Lleyton Hewitt, the 12th seed, has had an up-and-down year. He has a challenge against Austrian Jurgen Melzer, who has wins over Tim Henman and Marat Safin this year. Hewitt won a quarterfinal showdown against Melzer in Hamburg on clay, 6-4, 6-3.

  • Last year, Martin Verkerk was the biggest surprise story, reaching the finals. Romanian Victor Hanescu made it to the third round. Someone is going home earlier this year as these two meet in round two.

  • Finally, how Swede it is as veterans Jonas Bjorkman meets Thomas Enqvist. Bjorkman is 3-1 lifetime against Enqvist, though they have never met on clay.

    Howie Schwab is a coordinating producer for ESPN.

  • ALSO SEE