ST PETERSBURG: Roberta Vinci started the defence of her St Petersburg Ladies’ Trophy title with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 win over Timea Babos on Tuesday.
The sixth-seeded Italian was broken five times but still advanced to face either German veteran Andrea Petkovic or Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania in the second round.
Also Tuesday, Kristina Mladenovic of France beat Belgian qualifier Elise Mertens 7-6 (5), 6-4 and will next face Australian Open finalist Venus Williams.
Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan also advanced, leading 6-1, 1-0 when Swedish opponent Johanna Larsson retired from the match. Putintseva will next face Annika Beck of Germany.
Results (x denotes seeding):
First round: Ana Konjuh (CRO) bt Monica Niculescu (ROM) 1-6, 6-3, 6-2; Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) bt Elise Mertens (BEL) 7-6, (7/5), 6-4; Andrea Petkovic (GER) bt Irina-Camelia Begu (ROM) 6-1, 7-5; Roberta Vinci (ITA x6) bt Timea Babos (HUN) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4; Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) bt Johanna Larsson (SWE) 6-0, 1-0 retired Alize Cornet (FRA) bt Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 6-4, 6-2.
Published in Dawn February 1st, 2017