Sofia, Bulgaria (SportsNetwork.com) - Top-seeded Simona Halep and two-time
champion Ana Ivanovic were both opening-day winners at the WTA Tournament of
Halep posted a 6-3, 6-3 victory over sixth-seeded Russian Anastasia
Pavlyuchenkova on the indoor hardcourt at Armeec Arena. The second-seeded
Ivanovic breezed past No. 8 seed Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova 6-0, 6-2 in her
This event, in its fifth year, features an eight-woman field that is divided
into two groups. Round-robin play is staged Tuesday through Friday, with the
semifinals on Saturday and a Sunday final.
Ivanovic, the 2010 and 2011 titlist, and Pironkova make up half of Group
Sredets. They are joined by fourth-seeded Australian Samantha Stosur and
fifth-seeded Russian Elena Vesnina.
Group Serdika includes Halep, third-seeded Russian Maria Kirilenko,
Pavlyuchenkova and seventh-seeded Frenchwoman Alize Cornet.
Cornet was ahead 5-0 in the first set against Kirilenko before the latter
The field consists of the six highest-ranked players who won at least one
International Series tournament during the year and did not qualify for last
week's WTA Championships in Istanbul or are not participating in this week's
Fed Cup final. Two wild cards - Ivanovic and Pironkova - were included as
Russian Nadia Petrova defeated Dane Caroline Wozniacki to win the title last
year in Sofia's debut as host. The tournament was previously held in Bali.
The Sports Network