Maria Sharapova's French Open title defence got off to a comfortable start as she beat Estonian Kaia Kanepi 6-2, 6-4 in the first round.

The second-seed, who will face fellow Russian Vitalia Diatchenko, was rarely bothered in a late-afternoon canter on Court Philippe Chatrier.

The double Roland Garros champion won three games in a row to win the opening set having made only four unforced errors.

Kanepi buried a backhand into the net to hand Sharapova a break in the fourth game of the second set, but the Estonian broke back as the unforced errors started to pile up on the Russian's stats sheet.

Sharapova wasted one match point but a Kanepi double fault ensured a routine victory.

There was no good news for 14th-seed Agnieszka Radwanska who as beaten 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 by Germany's Annika Beck.

Elsewhere, former world number one Victoria Azarenka also moved into the second round with a straight-sets win over Spain's Maria Teresa Torro.

The 27th-seed eased through 6-2, 6-1.

Sabine Lisicki, the 20th seed, sealed a straight-sets win over Monica Puig [Getty Images]
Murray through

In the men's draw, Andy Murray opened his latest campaign for a first French Open victory with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 win over Argentine Facundo Argueello.

Black-clad and business-like, the world number three's power, poise and new-found confidence on clay proved too much for the 22-year-old lucky loser who was playing only the second grand slam match of his career.

"I was nervous today. It's always like that in the first round of a major tournament. It shows that you care," the Briton said.

Murray is in the same half of the Roland Garros draw as favourite Novak Djokovic and nine-time champion Rafa Nadal and could play world number eight David Ferrer in the quarter-finals.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies