Paris: Maria Sharapova hopes her early defeat in Rome can be a blessing in disguise as she prepares to begin her French Open campaign.
The Russian's clay-court game has undergone a transformation in recent years with the red stuff now witnessing some of Sharapova's best results. Sharapova began her clay-court campaign with titles in Stuttgart and Madrid this year but then fell to Ana Ivanovic in the third round in Rome.
Sharapova said: "I think time will ultimately tell. I think it gave me a few extra days maybe to rest instead of trying to hurry up and come here and trying to get on the courts as soon you can and get as many hours on the big courts as you might get before everybody else comes.
"So in a way it's been great to have that. Of course I would have loved to have done well in Rome, as well. I had great preparation. I had two great tournaments and had really tough matches, easier matches."