WTA Week of Sept 15-21 2014
Pan Pacific Open Women's Singles Final Sunday Sept 21
3-Ana Ivanovic beat 2-Caroline Wozniacki 6-2 7-6(2)
Seoul Open Women’s Singles Final Sunday Sept 21
2-Karolina Pliskova beat 5-Varvara Lepchenko 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-2
Ivanovic Tops Wozniacki in Tokyo Final; Pliskova Takes Seoul for 2nd WTA Crown
wtatennis.com September 21 2014 Tokyo, Japan - With jaw-dropping power and precision, particularly off her forehand, Ana Ivanovic made 2014 the best season of her career on Sunday, beating Caroline Wozniacki to win the Toray Pan Pacific Open - and move closer to the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.
The beginning was tight - the two traded breaks en route to 2-all, and they went to six deuces in that game. But from ad-in for the No.2-seeded Wozniacki, Ivanovic took complete control, winning 17 points in a row to take the set, 6-2. She had 19 winners to just nine errors in the set.
Wozniacki started building some momentum from there - she broke serve for 3-1 second set and was up 30-15 in that game, just two points from a 4-1 lead. But the No.3-seeded Ivanovic came storming back, winning five of the next eight games to push the set to a tie-break, where she played almost flawlessly to clinch the victory, 6-2, 7-6(2). She finished it off with a huge hook forehand winner.
Ivanovic was asked about the many, many fans that were cheering her on throughout the final. Ivanovic's win over Wozniacki was her 52nd match win of the year, now the most match wins she's ever had in a season in her career - her previous best was 51 in 2007. It's also her fourth WTA title of the year, another personal best - she won three WTA titles in both the 2007 and 2008 seasons.
In Seoul, South Korea, it was fourth time lucky for Karolina Pliskova on Sunday - after losing her first three WTA finals of the year at Pattaya City, Nürnberg and Hong Kong, she battled past Varvara Lepchenko to win the second WTA title of her blossoming career at the Kia Korea Open in Seoul.
She had some close calls earlier in the week, including coming within two points of losing to Maria Kirilenko in the semifinals, but Pliskova survived through to the final and had to do it all over again there against Lepchenko, finding herself at a set all after just over an hour and a half on court.
But the No.2-seeded Pliskova stormed out to a 4-0 lead in the third set and barely looked back, eventually beating the No.5-seeded Lepchenko after two hours and 11 minutes, 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-2.
Having won her first WTA title at another WTA event in the Asia-Pacific - Kuala Lumpur last year - Pliskova had had a tough run in WTA finals this year, losing all three of those aforementioned title matches. But she crossed the finish line against Lepchenko to return to the WTA winner's circle.
Guangzhou Women's Singles Final Saturday Sept 20
Monica Niculescu beat 2-Alize Cornet 6-4 6-0
Pan Pacific Open Women's Singles Semifinals Saturday Sept 20
2-Caroline Wozniacki beat Garbine Muguruza 6-4 2-6 6-2
3-Ana Ivanovic beat 1-Angelique Kerber 7-5 6-3
Seoul Open Women’s Singles Semifinals Saturday Sept 20
5-Varvara Lepchenko beat Maria Kirilienko 4-6 7-6(5) 6-3
2-Karolina Pliskova beat Christina McHale 3-6 6-1 7-6(5)
Niculescu Conquers Cornet, Guangzhou Title; Pliskova, Lepchenko in Seoul Final; Ivanovic, Wozniacki to Vie for Tokyo Crown
wtatennis.com September 20 2014 Guangzhou, China - Monica Niculescu overcame Alizé Cornet - and some very hot and humid conditions - to win the second WTA title of her career at the Guangzhou International Women's Open.
Things didn't look so great for Niculescu early on in the final, as the No.2-seeded Cornet surged ahead 4-2 in the first set. But from there it was one way traffic in the other direction as Niculescu reeled off 10 games in a row - and at one point eight points in a row - to run away with the match, 6-4, 6-0.
Niculescu actually put together one of the most dominant title runs of the year, losing just 17 games in five matches - only one player has dropped fewer games en route to a WTA title this year, that being Garbiñe Muguruza, who lost 15 en route to winning the Hobart International in January.
Niculescu now has two WTA titles, her first coming at another International-level hardcourt event in Florianopolis, Brazil last year. She's the sixth Romanian ever to win multiple WTA titles, after Virginia Ruzici, Irina Spirlea, Ruxandra Dragomir-Ilie, Alexandra Dulgheru and Simona Halep.
In Seoul, South Korea, WTA Rising Star Karolina Pliskova and Varvara Lepchenko both rallied for three set wins on Saturday to set up a showdown in the Kia Korea Open final. Second-seeded Pliskova was down a set and 6-5 to 2008 Seoul champion Maria Kirilenko, but despite being two points from defeat managed to force a tie-break. She pulled that out and from 3-3 in the third set ran off three straight games for a 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-3 triumph.
No.5 seed Lepchenko found herself down a double break at 3-0 in the third set against fellow American Christina McHale. She also faced a match point at 5-3 on her own serve, but fought it off and eventually forced a deciding tie-break. She got through that for a 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(5) victory, improving to 4-1 against McHale.
Pliskova, who has one WTA title under her belt, is into her fourth WTA final this year and her second straight - having been runner-up last week in Hong Kong. Lepchenko is into her first WTA final. Interestingly enough, her first WTA semifinal outing was right here in Seoul two years ago.
In Tokyo, Japan, wo of the leading contenders for spots in the elite eight at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global kept racking up valuable points on Saturday, beating tough semifinal opposition to reach the final of the Premier-level Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.
Caroline Wozniacki, the No.2 seed, was the first player to reach the final, proving too solid for WTA Rising Star Garbiñe Muguruza, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2. Wozniacki was particularly tough on break points - she saved 19 of the 23 she faced in the match, including all nine that she faced in the first set.
Muguruza's aggression really showed up in the match numbers - the Spaniard hit an impressive 53 winners in the match. But her 50 unforced errors meant she ended with just a +3 differential - a lot lower than Wozniacki's +11 (the former World No.1 had 27 winners and 16 unforced errors).
Wozniacki has now won 22 of 26 matches since the tour switched from grass to hardcourts. Ana Ivanovic, seeded No.3 this week, followed Wozniacki into the final with a 7-5, 6-3 win over the No.1 seed, Angelique Kerber, winning 10 of 13 games from 5-3 down in the first set to seal it.
Pan Pacific Open Women's Singles Quarterfinals Friday Sept 19
Garbine Muguruza beat Casey Dellacqua 3-6 7-6(5) 6-3
1-Angelique Kerber beat 6-Dominika Cibulkova 6-3 6-0
2-Caroline Wozniacki beat 8-Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3 6-3
3-Ana Ivanovic beat 7-Lucie Safarova 6-3 6-2
Guangzhou Women's Singles Semifinal Friday Sept 19
2-Alize Cornet beat Timea Bacsinszky 6-1, 7-6(5)
Monica Niculescu beat Wang Yafan 6-0 6-2
Seoul Open Women’s Singles Quarterfinals Friday Sept 19
5-Varvara Lepchenko beat 1-Agnieszka Radwanska 6-7(4) 6-2 6-2
2-Karolina Pliskova beat Nicole Gibbs 6-3 6-4
Maria Kirilienko beat 6-Kaia Kanepi 6-7(3) 6-2 6-3
Christina McHale beat 4-Magdalena Rybarikova 6-2 2-0 ret.
Kerber, Wozniacki, Ivanovic in Tokyo Semis
wtatennis.com September 19, 2014 Tokyo, Japan - Ana Ivanovic ended her five-match losing streak against Lucie Safarova to reach the semifinals of the Toray Pan Pacific Open on Friday.
Safarova last tasted defeat against Ivanovic at the 2008 French Open, but her run looked in danger from the outset in Tokyo. A brilliant backhand return and a well-timed foray into the net helped the Serb to an early break before she repeated the trick a few games later to take total control of the opening set.
After firing down a couple of aces to wrap up the set, Ivanovic quickly made her mark in the second, breaking twice as she calmly closed out a 6-3, 6-2 win. Things will not get any easier for Ivanovic, who next faces top seed Angelique Kerber, who impressed during a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Dominika Cibulkova.
Meanwhile, Caroline Wozniacki made short work of Carla Suárez Navarro to set up a meeting with WTA Rising Star Garbiñe Muguruza. Wozniacki was given a real scare in her opening match against Jarmila Gajdosova, but looked a lot more comfortable on court against Suárez Navarro, easing through, 6-3, 6-3.
Muguruza was made to work considerably harder for her place in the last four, battling for nearly two hours to defeat Casey Dellacqua, 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-3.
Muguruza Upsets Jankovic, Wozniacki Rallies in Tokyo; Cornet in Guangzhou SF
wtatennis.com: September 18 2014 Tokyo, Japan - At the Toray Pan Pacific Open on Thursday, WTA Rising Star Garbiñe Muguruza further underlined her status as one of the game's brightest young talents by knocking out No.4 seed Jelena Jankovic.
Since outlining her potential with a quarterfinal run at this year's French Open, Muguruza has struggled for consistency. Early on against Jankovic, it looked like it could be another off day, as her heavy groundstrokes failed to find their mark with any regularity.
However, despite playing catch-up for most of the set, the Spaniard hung onto Jankovic's coattails before pinching the tie-break with the help of a series of thumping forehands. The momentum swings continued into the second, with both players struggling to hold serve. Once again, it was the Spaniard that held her nerve at the business end of the set to close out a 7-6(4). 6-4 win.
Muguruza's next opponent will be Casey Dellacqua, who won her all-Antipodean encounter with Marina Erakovic, 6-2, 6-4. The other quarterfinal in the bottom half will pit Carla Suárez Navarro against Caroline Wozniacki. No.8 seed Suárez Navarro overcame a slow start to end the run of qualifier Daria Gavrilova, 7-6(5), 6-3, while Wozniacki, in her first match since the US Open final, was pushed even harder.
Taking on another qualifier, Jarmila Gajdosova, Wozniacki had to weather a barrage of winners for two sets before fighting back to triumph, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3. "She was playing really well so I just tried to fight for every point," Wozniacki said. "It took me a little while to get into it and she was hitting a very heavy ball. At the same time I was hitting too short and this gave her the opportunity to be very aggressive. I got a bit lucky in the second set, but I managed to win it and then do the same in the third - it was a very close match."
In Guangzhou, China, Alizé Cornet closed in on her second title of the season with victory over Hsieh Su-Wei at the Guangzhou International Women's Open on Thursday. With temperatures on court in excess of 90°F, Cornet was visibly flagging towards the end of the first set, yet somehow summoned her last reserves of energy to clinch a scrappy tie-break.
This mini-triumph provided the No.2 seed with a second wind as she broke four more times to wrap up a 7-6(5), 6-1 win. Standing between Cornet and a place in the final is Timea Bacsinszky, who was too strong for María-Teresa Torró-Flor. Fast starts to both sets laid the foundations for Bacsinszky's 6-2, 6-3 win, which takes her into the semifinals of a WTA event for the first time since 2010.
Pan Pacific Women's Singles Second Round Thursday Sept 18
2-Caroline Wozniacki beat Jarmila Gajdosova 4-6, 7-5, 6-3
Garbine Muguruza Blanco beat 4-Jelena Jankovic 7-6(4) 6-4
8-Carla Suarez Navarro beat Daria Gavrilova 7-6(5), 6-3
Guangzhou Women's Singles Quarterfinal Thursday Sept 18
Timea Bacsinszky beat Maria Teresa Torro 6-2 6-3
2-Alize Cornet beat Hsieh Su-Wei 7-6(5) 6-1
Wang Yafan beat Zhang Kailin 3-6 6-2 6-2
Monica Niculescu beat Monica Puig 6-2 6-2
Seoul Open Women’s Singles Second Round Thursday Sept 18
Maria Kirilenko beat 3-Klara Zakopalova 6-7(4) 6-4 6-0
6-Kaia Kanepi beat Kristyna Pliskova 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
Nicole Gibbs beat Danka Kovinic 1-6, 6-4, 7-6(5)
Guangzhou Women's Singles Second Round Wed Sept 17
Maria Teresa Torro beat Xu Yifan 6-7(5) 7-5 6-2
Timea Bacsinszky beat Silvia Soler Espinosa 6-2 6-2
2-Alize Cornet beat Shahar Peer 3-6 7-5 6-1
Wang Yafan beat Petra Martic 7-6(5) 6-3
Hsieh Su-Wei beat Zhu Lin 6-4 6-2
Zhang Kailin beat Alison Riske 6-2 7-5
Monica Puig beat Zhang Ling 6-4 6-4
Monica Niculescu beat Misaki Doi 6-2 6-1
Pan Pacific Open Women's Singles Second Round Wed Sept 17
1-Angelique Kerber beat Elina Svitolina 6-4 6-4
3-Ana Ivanovic beat Victoria Azarenka 6-3 6-4
7-Lucie Safarova beat Belinda Bencic 3-6 6-4 6-2
6-Dominika Cibulkova beat Coco Vandeweghe 7-6(5) 7-5
Seoul Open Women's Singles Second Round Wed Sept 17
1-Agnieszka Radwanska beat Chanelle Scheepers 6-0, 6-0
2-Karolina Pliskova beat Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2
Christina McHale beat Mona Barthel 6-1, 4-6, 6-3
Ivanovic Defeats Azarenka in Tokyo R2; Radwanska in Seoul Last 8; Cornet Advance
wtatenis.com: September 17 2014 Tokyo, Japan - Ana Ivanovic bounced back from her US Open disappointment with an impressive win over Victoria Azarenka in the second round of the Toray Pan Pacific Open.
As one of the leading four seeds, Ivanovic was the recipient of a first round bye in the Japanese capital. And she hit the ground running, building early leads in both sets on her way to a 6-3, 6-4 win over the former World No.1.
Things will not get any easier for Ivanovic, who meets No.7 seed Lucie Safarova in the quarterfinals. Despite sitting higher in the rankings, the Serb has lost her past five meetings with Safarova, the most recent of these coming at this year's French Open. Also advancing on Wednesday was top seed and last year's runner-up Angelique Kerber, after she defeated WTA Rising Star Elina Svitolina, 6-4, 6-4.
In Seoul, South Korea, Agnieszka Radwanska will get a shot at revenge at the Kia Korea Open this Friday, as she and Varvara Lepchenko - who beat her in their last meeting just a few weeks before the US Open this summer - set up a quarterfinal clash at the $500,000 International-level event.
The No.5-seeded Lepchenko was the first of the two to advance, outdoing South Korean wildcard Han Na-Lee in a tight two-setter, 7-5, 6-1. Han actually led 5-3 in the first set and even had a set point in that game, but double faulted on it - Lepchenko pounced, winning 10 of the next 11 games.
The No.1-seeded Radwanska followed Lepchenko into the quarterfinals with a 49-minute, 6-0, 6-0 victory against Chanelle Scheepers. Scheepers challenged hard in the first game - she had two break points on the Radwanska serve - but the Pole saved both and never faced a single game point again.
It was Radwanska's fourth time winning 6-0, 6-0 at the WTA level, having done it at Istanbul in 2008 (against Sorana Cirstea), Sydney in 2013 (against Dominika Cibulkova) and Indian Wells this year (against Annika Beck). She's done it once in WTA qualies and once at an ITF Women's Circuit event.
Radwanska leads Lepchenko in their head-to-head, 5-1, but Lepchenko's one win in that head-to-head came in their last meeting, which was also their only 2014 meeting, in the second round of the Bank Of The West Classic in July. That win also served as Lepchenko's first win over a Top 5 player.
Elsewhere, Karolina Pliskova - one of the leading WTA Rising Stars, and the No.2 seed here - had to dig deep to get past Anna-Lena Friedsam, double faulting on match point at 6-5 in the second set and eventually losing the set in a tie-break, but then regrouping to prevail in three, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-2. The only other match of the day saw Christina McHale grind past Mona Barthel, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.
In Guangzhou, China, France's No.2 seed Alize Cornet came from behind to defeat Shahar Peer of Israel 3-6 7-5 6-1 to book a quarterfinal slot at the Guangzhou International on Wednesday. Also advancing is Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig who dismissed Zhang Ling 6-4 6-4.
Awaiting Cornet is another former Guangzhou champ, 2012 winner Hsieh Su-Wei. The Taiwanese made her first quarterfinal of the season with a 6-4, 6-2 defeat of Chinese wildcard Zhu Lin. Another Chinese wildcard fared better, as Wang Yafan was a 7-6(5), 6-3 winner over Petra Martic a day after shocking top-seeded Samantha Stosur. Next up for Wang is fellow Chinese first-time WTA quarterfinalist Zhang Kai-Lin.
Guangzhou Women's Singles First Round Tuesday Sept 16
Wang Yafan beat 1-Samantha Stosur 2-6 6-2 6-2
Silvia Soler Espinosa beat 3-Sloane Stephens 6-3 4-6 6-4
Monica Puig beat Karin Knapp 6-1 4-6 6-2
Monica Niculescu beat 4-Bojana Jovanovski 6-2 6-2
Petra Martic beat Sorana Cirstea 7-6(3) 6-1
Zhang Kai-Lin beat 7-Jana Cepelova 6-1 6-4
Hsieh Su-Wei beat Alison Van Uytvanck 7-6(2) 2-6 6-4
Zhang Ling beat 5-Zarina Diyas 6-4 6-1
Xu Yifan beat Patricia Mayr-Achleitner 6-2 6-3
Pan Pacific Open Women's Singles First Round Tuesday Sept 16
Marina Erakovic beat 5-Sara Errani 6-4 6-1
Casey Dellacqua beat Sabine Lisicki 6-7(5) 7-5 6-2
Victoria Azarenka beat Kimiko Date-Krumm 3-6 6-0 6-2
8-Carla Suarez Navarro beat Kurumi Nara 6-1 2-6 6-2
Daria Gavrilova beat Lauren Davis 4-6 6-4 6-4
Jarmila Gajdosova beat Daniela Hantuchova 6-2 5-7 7-5
Seoul Open Women's Singles First Round Tuesday Sept 16
1-Agnieszka Radwanska beat Polona Hercog 6-3, 6-3
2-Karolina Pliskova beat Julia Glushko 6-1, 6-2
Nicole Gibbs beat 8-Heather Watson 7-5 6-2
Kristyna Pliskova beat Stefanie Voegele 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)
4-Magdalena Rybarikova beat Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
Danka Kovinic beat Anna Schmiedlova 6-7(7) 6-4 7-6(3)
Yanina Wickmayer beat Mandy Minella 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
Azarenka Advance in Tokyo, Lisicki Out; Stosur, Stephens, Knapp Exit in Guangzhou
wtatenis.com: September 16 2014 Guangzhou, China - It was a banner day for Asians at the Guangzhou International Women's Open on Tuesday, as all five in action were victorious, three of them over seeded players.
No surprise was bigger than Wang Yafan's defeat of No.1 seed Samantha Stosur. The Chinese wildcard converted on four of six break points and fought off nine of 11 break points on her own serve in her 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 upset of the World No.20. Not only was this World No.251 Wang's first WTA win, but it was her first WTA main draw match.
Also scoring the best wins of their careers were qualifiers Zhang Ling of Hong Kong and Zhang Kai-Lin of China. Zhang Ling was a 6-4, 6-1 winner over fifth-seeded Zarina Diyas, and Zhang Kai-Lin was a 6-1, 6-4 victor over seventh-seeded Jana Cepelova.
Chinese qualifier Xu Yi-Fan and Taiwanese wildcard Hsieh Su-Wei also were triumphant. Asian players weren't the only ones pulling off upsets. Sílvia Soler-Espinosa edged No.3 seed Sloane Stephens, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, and Monica Niculescu beat No.4 seed Bojana Jovanovski, 6-2, 6-2. WTA Rising Star Monica Puig got past last week's Tashkent champion, Karin Knapp, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2.
Tokyo, Japan - Long after the tremors that disrupted play earlier in the day had dissipated, Kimiko Date-Krumm looked in danger of causing some shockwaves of her own against Victoria Azarenka during the Pan Pacific Open first round.
Since returning from the foot injury that sidelined her for the first half of 2014, Azarenka has yet to hit top form, however, she remains as tough a competitor as ever. In the second set she finally began to find a way through the Date-Krumm defenses, a couple of telling forehands bringing her the break in a marathon second game.
As Azarenka's game grew in stature, Date-Krumm became increasingly frustrated, a mood that was not helped by an injury to her hip. Despite the best efforts of the trainer, the Japanese player was fighting a losing battle, her rampant opponent rattling through the final two sets to complete a 3-6, 6-0, 6-2 win.
A few hours later, Marina Erakovic succeeded where Date-Krumm had failed, giving the Center Court crowd the first upset of the tournament by knocking out No.5 seed Sara Errani, 6-4, 6-1.
Erakovic's last win over a Top 20 player came over a year ago, and at first she looked decidedly uneasy in Errani's company. However, after finally getting on the scoreboard in the fifth game, she never looked back, playing some scintillating tennis to set up a second round meeting with fellow Antipodean Casey Dellacqua who upset last week’s Hong Kong Open winner Sabine Lisicki 6-7(5) 7-5 6-2.
Date-Krumm's exit was not the only disappointment for the home nation on Tuesday. Earlier on, Japanese No.1 Kurumi Nara lost a see-saw encounter with Carla Suárez Navarro, 6-1, 2-6, 6-2.
Pan Pacific Open Women's Singles First Round Monday Sept 15
Elina Svitolina beat Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-4 6-1
Garbine Muguruza Blanco beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3 7-6(3)
Belinda Bencic beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3 6-0
7-Lucie Safarova beat Madison Keys 6-7(4) 6-4 6-2
6-Dominika Cibulkova beat Kirsten Flipkens 6-1, 6-3
Coco Vandeweghe beat Alla Kudryavtseva
Guangzhou Women's Singles First Round Monday Sept 15
Alison Riske beat Johanna Larsson 6-4 7-6(5)
Misaki Doi beat Katarzyna Piter 5-7 6-4 6-3
Maria Teresa Torro beat 8-Annika Beck 6-4 7-6(5)
Shahar Peer beat Pauline Parmentier 7-6(8) 6-3
Timea Bacsinszky beat Magda Linette 6-2 4-6 6-4
2-Alize Cornet beat Yulia Putintseva 6-1 6-1
Zhu Lin beat 6-Roberta Vinci 6-3 7-6(7)
Misaki Doi beat Katarzyna Piter 5-7 6-4 6-3
Seoul Open Women's Singles First Round Monday Sept 15
Christina Mchale beat Lara Arruabarrena Vecino 6-2 6-3
5-Varvara Lepchenko beat Olivia Rogowska 6-1 6-2
Mona Barthel beat 7-Caroline Garcia 7-6(3) 6-2
Han Na-Lae beat Jang Su-Jeong 7-6(5) 4-6 6-3
Anna-Lena Friedsam beat Yaroslava Shvedova 7-6(5) 7-5
Chanelle Scheepers beat Irina Begu 6-2 3-6 7-5
Bencic, Safarova Win Tokyo Openers; Cornet Wins in Guangzhou, Vinci Ousted
wtatennis.com September 15 2014 Tokyo, Japan - WTA Rising Star Belinda Bencic continued her impressive late season form by breezing past Svetlana Kuznetsova and into the second round of the Toray Pan Pacific Open on Monday. In her first match since reaching the US Open quarterfinals, Bencic needed little more than an hour to overcome Kuznetsova, 6-3, 6-0.
Bencic's reward for her quick-fire win is a meeting with No.7 seed Lucie Safarova, whose progress was not quite so straightforward, toiling for more than two hours before finally seeing off Madison Keys, 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-2.
Elsewhere, there was better news for Keys' fellow WTA Rising Stars, Garbiñe Muguruza and Elina Svitolina, both of whom won in straight sets. Svitolina came flying out of the blocks against Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, eventually triumphing, 6-4, 6-1, to set up a second round meeting with top seed Angelique Kerber. Muguruza had a slightly harder time of things, twice coming from a break down in the second set to defeat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 6-3, 7-6(3).
In Guangzhou, China, No.2 seed Alizé Cornet opened her Guangzhou International Women's Open campaign on Monday with a dominant performance against Yulia Putintseva. Cornet broke in six of Putintseva's seven service games and won 20 of 25 points on the Kazakhstani's second serve in her 6-1, 6-1 victory.
Next up for Cornet is 2009 Guangzhou champion Shahar Peer, who rallied from a 5-2 first set deficit and overcame three set points in the tie-break of her 7-6(8), 6-3 triumph over Pauline Parmentier.
There were two first round upsets, as sixth-seeded Roberta Vinci and eighth-seeded Annika Beck were both upended. Chinese wildcard Zhu Lin fought off four set points in the second set of her 6-3, 7-6(7) win over Vinci, the first Top 50 win of her career. In fact, this is just her second WTA main draw, having reached the second round of Hong Kong last week. As for Beck, she was beaten by María-Teresa Torró-Flor, 6-4, 7-6(5).
In Seoul, South Korea, No.5 seed Varvara Lepchenko wasted little time in booking her place in the second round of the KIA Korea Open, defeating Olivia Rogowska, 6-1, 6-2, on Monday afternoon. Lepchenko broke in the first game and from there she never looked back, wrapping up victory after just over an hour on court. Next up for Lepchenko will be wildcard Han Na-Lae, who claimed domestic bragging rights when she prevailed in her all-Korean encounter with Jang Su Jeong, 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-3.
In other first round matches, Mona Barthel caused the week's first upset, recovering from a slow start to knock out No.7 seed Caroline Garcia, 7-6(3), 6-2. Also advancing were Christina McHale, Chanelle Scheepers and Anna-Lena Friedsam.