The men were still going through their qualifiers, but the women started with a few matches. The top players were not in action as yet, but the tournament kicked off in style.
WOMEN’S MAIN DRAW- 1st round
In the Women’s main draw, the big “upset” of the day was former Wimbledon finalist Vera Zvonereva was eliminated by Shuai Peng of China- 6-4, 0-6, 5-7
One half of the Aussie open mixed doubles champions, Kristina Mladenovic, overcame Shuai Zhang and now plays Carla Suarez Navarro as former top-10 player, Russia’s Nadia Petrova retired due to an injury against Silvia Soler of Spain.
American youngster Madison Keys defeated Tsevatana Pironkova and Shelby Rodgers overcame Petra Cetkovska in straight sets, however Christina Mchale and Alison Riske were both dumped out, Riske going down to Serb Bojana Jovanovski while Mchale lost to Aussie Casey Dellacqua. Qualifier Alexandra kiick lost to Kurumi Nara, but Lauren Davis and Valvara Lepchenko advanced. Lauren now plays Azarenka as Lepchenko plays Daniela Hantuchova. Madison Keys takes on Roberta Vinci while Dellacqua goes up against Kirsten Flipkens.
Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova beat Chanelle Scheeppers, but Israel’s Shahar Peer lost to Canadian qualifier Sharon Finchman. In an exciting match between Swiss Belinda Bencic and Brit Heather Watson, young Bencic fought but ultimately lost 4-6, 5-7 as Watson goes onto face Agnieszka Radwanska.
Belgian Yania Wickmayer lost the first set, but eventually overcame Serb Anna Schmiedlova 3-6 6-2 6-4. German Annika Beck was also in action and she beat Swiss Stephanie Vogele 6-2 2-6 7-5.Published 06 Mar 2014, 18:01 IST