Ana Ivanovic of Serbia beat seventh-seeded Francesca Schiavone 6-1, 7-5 and China’s Peng Shuai defeated sixth-seeded Marion Bartoli 6-4, 6-3 on Tuesday to advance to the second round of the Dubai Tennis Championships.
Bartoli of France took an early lead in the first set, but the 17th-ranked Peng fought back to secure the win. Peng briefly lost control of her game at the beginning of the second, but bounced back to win six straight games to wrap up the match.
Ivanovic breezed through the first set, limiting her Italian opponent to just one game in 33 minutes. Schiavone put up a tougher fight in the second, but was no match for the 24-year-old Serb, who took the set to win the match in 1 hour, 40 minutes.
Earlier on Tuesday, fifth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland advanced after defeating Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada 6-1, 6-7 (6), 7-5.
The 22-year-old Radwanska cruised through the first set in 27 minutes, but she needed another two hours to win her opening match in Dubai. After losing the second set on a tiebreaker, Radwanska struggled to regain concentration in the third and had to come back from 5-3 down, eventually winning 7-5.
Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka is the top-seeded player in Dubai. The top-ranked Belarusian was to meet Julia Goerges of Germany in her opening match yesterday.
The field also includes defending champion Caroline Wozniacki and US Open winner Samantha Stosur, but Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, French Open winner Li Na and Vera Zvonareva all withdrew because of illness and injury on Monday.
Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia retired with a hamstring injury while trailing Iveta Benesova 3-1, and Maria Kirilenko withdrew from a doubles match with Sabine Lisicki against Anabel Medina Garrigues and Alicja Rosolska.
Peng is to play Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova in the second round. Hantuchova advanced after defeating Polona Hercog of Slovenia 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4).
Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic also advanced on Tuesday after ousting Croatia’s Petra Martic 6-3, 5-7, 6-3. Safarova will meet Stosur in the second round.
AP, MONTERREY, MEXICO
Fourth-seeded Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania and No. 7-seeded Mathilde Johansson of France were knocked out of the first round of the Monterrery Open on Tuesday.
Dulgheru was beaten by Silvia Soler-Espinosa of Spain 6-3, 6-3, while Mathilde Jonansson lost to Mandy Minella of Luxembourg 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (5).
Other seeded players fared better in the outdoor, hard-court event.
No. 6-seeded Greta Arn of Hungary beat Zhang Shuai of China 6-1, 6-4, while eighth-seeded Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain defeated Monica Puig of Puerto Rico 6-3, 6-3.
Other first-round winners included Frenchwoman Alize Cornet, Maria Abramovic of Croatia, Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan, Valeria Savinykh of Russia and Hungary’s Timea Babos.