Masha watch: Stanford
World No. 15 Maria Sharapova made a successful start at the Bank of the West tournament in Stanford, California. The Russian superstar, seeded fifth this week, came through her opening-round clash against tricky opponent Jie Zheng, 6-4, 7-5.
Other top-ranked ladies advancing to round two include: 3rd seed Agnieszka Radwanska, fourth-seeded defending champion Marion Bartoli, 6th seed Shahar Peer, 7th seed Yanina Wickmayer and 8th Victoria Azarenka.
Former World No. 1 Dinara Safina stumbled during her return to competition, falling to 39-year-old veteran Kimiko Date Krumm. The Russian had captured the first set, but failed to keep the momentum as she fell in three, 6-4, 6-7(0), 2-6.
American starlet Melanie Oudin is also through to the second round following her three-set victory over Alexandra Wozniak. Joining the 18-year-old are TT Mag’s fave Maria Kirilenko, Dominika Cibulkova and former World No. 1 Ana Ivanovic, who faces Bartoli for a place in the quarterfinal.
Top seeds Samantha Stosur and Elena Dementieva earned passage into the second round after receiving a bye in the opening round.