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Photos: Maria Sharapova’s Eiffel Tower-inspired French Open dress

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Maria Sharapova chose an appropriate place to debut her new Eiffel Tower-inspired dress. The Russian tennis star opened play at the 2011 French Open wearing a new, canary-yellow Nike dress designed with Paris' most famous landmark in mind.

Sharapova cruised to an easy 6-3, 6-0 victory in her first-round match over Mirjana Lucic while wearing the new garment, which features stitching meant to evoke the iron lattice design of the tower that dominates the Parisian skyline.

The 24-year-old Russian entered Paris as the No. 7 seed and was fresh off the biggest clay court victory of her career in Rome, a win which made her one of the favorites at Roland Garros. With a solid performance against Lucic, she did nothing to alter expectations.

In the early rounds, at least, the dress was the showcase. Nike says it's lightweight and breathable, features a diamond shape in the back for flexibility (also a nod to Sharapova's recent engagement?) and a two-layered skirt or jersey and mesh to help movement. It's the best look Sharapova has had at a major in years. There's something about the yellow against the red clay that pops.

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