More rain meant a reduced program, with two matches suspended. Four were completed in the capital as Japan’s fifth seed Misaki Doi beat Italian Alberta Brianti 6-2, 6-3, American Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who won the Dubai doubles title at the weekend, made a successful trip East to start with a win over Croatian prodigy Donna Vekic 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.
Czech Karolina Pliskova beat Australian Casey Dellacqua 6-3, 6-2 and Patricia Mayr-Achleitner of Austria was untroubled by France’s Claire Feuerstein 6-3, 6-4.
All five seeds on court advanced into the second round with the top three leading a sweep. Last week’s losing Dubai semi-finalist Sara Errani started with a win over Romanian Alexandra Cadantu 6-3, 6-2 while No. 2 Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain put out France’s Mathilde Johansson with the loss of just one game. Third seed Alize Cornet overcame Catalina Castano of Colombia 6-1, 2-6, 6-3.
Two more seeds tagged along as former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, the No. 6, defeated American Grace Min 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 and eighth seeded Swiss Romina Oprandi handled Alexa Glatch 6-4, 2-6, 7-5.
In other results, France’s Stephanie Foretz Gacon defeated American Julia Cohen 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-0, Italy’s Karin Knapp ousted Swede Johanna Larsson 6-3 6-1, Eugenie Bouchard of Canada beat Czech Eva Birnerova 7-6(5) 6-3 and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez stopped Alexandra Panova 6-3 6-1. Spaniards Silvia Soler Espinosa and Maria Teresa Torro also advanced.
In the minor event in the hometown of Gustavo Kuerten, top seed Venus Williams, back in the top 20 for the first time since May, 2011, dominated in an opening win over Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia 6-3, 6-3. Lucic, 30, was a french Open semi-finalist back in the first part of her interrupted career, reaching the Grand Slam last four in 1999.
Fifth seed Magdalena Rybarikova overcame Japan’s over-40 wonder woman Kimiko Date-Krumm 6-3, 6-0 while seventh seed Kristina Mladenovic beat Anne Keothavong 6-3, 6-4 as the injured Brit played for only the second time since the Australian Open. Russian Olga Puchkova upset No.3 Kirsten Flipkens 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 while Spain’s Garbiñe Muguruza beat German qualifier Kristina Barrois 6-2. 6-2.
In other results, Germany’s Tatjana Malek defeated Teliana Pereira 6-4, 6-2, Timea Babos stopped Valeria Savinykh 7-6(5), 6-7(3), 6-2 and Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil beat Hsu Chieh-Yu of the US 6-1, 6-2.
©Daily Tennis News Wire