Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Sports Network) - Former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic
advanced, while rising American Sloane Stephens came up a first-round loser
Monday at the $2 million Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
The former French Open champion Ivanovic, of Serbia, got past Russian
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), while the Australian Open
semifinalist Stephens succumbed to Romanian Sorana Cirstea 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 on
the hardcourts at Dubai Tennis Stadium.
Also on Day 1, Taiwan's Su-Wei Hsieh handled American Varvara Lepchenko 6-1,
6-3, Kazakhstani wild card Yulia Putintseva doused British wild card Laura
Robson 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (8-6) and wild card and former top-10 Frenchwoman Marion
Bartoli overcame Czech veteran Klara Zakopalova 3-6, 6-4, 6-1. Up next for
Bartoli will be newly-crowned world No. 1 Serena Williams.
This week's top seeds are Victoria Azarenka and Williams. The former
top-ranked Azarenka beat Williams in last week's marquee final in Doha. The
Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion Williams supplanted the Australian Open
titlist Azarenka atop the rankings this week. Azarenka was a Dubai runner-up
Tuesday's schedule here will feature the likes of French Open runner-up Sara
Errani, former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, former U.S. Open champ Sam
Stosur and former world No. 1 and 2011 Dubai champion Caroline Wozniacki.
This week's third seed, Agnieszka Radwanska, beat German Julia Goerges in
last year's Dubai finale.
The 2013 Dubai champion will earn $442,198.
The Sports Network