Unseeded Australian Samantha Stosur scored the biggest upset in the opening round of the Los Angeles Classic on Monday, easing to a 6-1, 6-1 victory over 12th-seeded Israeli Shahar Peer.
The higher-ranked players begin their campaigns later in the week, leaving the lower seeds a chance to shine on the opening day, and while Sybille Bammer and Sania Mirza enjoyed routine wins, Virginie Razzano joined Peer as one of the early surprise losers.
The 13th-seeded Frenchwoman was beaten 6-3, 6-3 by Hungary’s Melinda Czink.
Hungary’s Melinda Czink, a lucky loser who only made it into the draw after Svetlana Kuznetsova withdrew with a knee injury, ousted the 13th-seeded Frenchwoman 6-3, 6-3.
Continuing the fine form that carried her to the quarter-finals of last week’s Stanford Classic, Stosur battered Peer with huge serves, forehands and aggressive returns in an impressive display of power tennis.
Peer, who reached a career-high world ranking of 15 in January last year, has now lost six out of her last eight matches and looked sluggish against Stosur, her shots often lacking both direction and power.
Austria’s Bammer, the 14th seed, moved on with a 6-0, 6-4 victory over US qualifier Ahsha Rolle, and India’s Mirza shrugged off her recent wrist problems to score a 6-3, 6-4 triumph against Czech qualifier Eva Hrdinova.
The 16th seeded Mirza lost her opening match at Stanford and admits to still feeling some pain in her surgically repaired right wrist, but she was able to get her huge forehand working against the tall Hrdinova.
Taiwan’s Chan Yung-jan (詹詠然), Marta Domachowska of Poland, the US’ Jill Craybas and Olga Govortsova of Belarus were among eight of the other players to advance on Monday.
Chan defeated Aravane Rezai of France 6-1, 6-4.
World No. 2 Jelena Jankovic is the tournament’s top seed, followed by Serena Williams.
Jankovic, 23, could take over the world No. 1 ranking from compatriot Ana Ivanovic with a victory here this week.
But she admitted her knee was still a concern, especially with the Beijing Olympics and US Open looming.
Fitness is also a question for second-seeded American Williams, who withdrew while trailing from her semi-final match in Stanford, California, on Saturday with a sore left knee.
She is scheduled to open today against Czech Petra Kvitova — a 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 winner over Russian Alisa Kleybanova on Monday.
AP, PORTOROZ, Slovenia
Inaugural champion Klara Zakopalova upset seventh-seeded Carla Suarez-Navarro of Spain 6-4, 6-4 in the first round of the Slovenia Open on Monday.
Zakopalova, from the Czech Republic, won the first Open in 2005 and was too composed for Suarez-Navarro, a French Open quarter-finalist.
Fifth-seed Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria also lost, to Katie O’Brien of Britain 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-2.
The two other seeds in action were winners: Third-seeded Dane Caroline Wozniacki defeated Slovenian wild card Andreja Klepac 7-5, 6-0, and fourth-seeded Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain beat Ekaterina Makarova of Russia 6-1, 6-3.
In other first-round matches, Vera Dushevina of Russia was a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Virginia Ruano Pascual of Spain, Croatia’s Petra Martic ousted Germany’s Angelique Kerber 7-5, 6-2, and Julia Vakulenko of Ukraine beat local wild card Polona Hercog 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.
Richard Gasquet opened his bid for a second Rogers Cup final in three years when he defeated fellow Frenchman Michael Llodra 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 on Monday.