Tennis

Safina, Koukalova win Sopot openers

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Sopot, Poland (Sports Network) - Former champion Dinara Safina of Russia and 2003 runner-up Klara Koukalova of the Czech Republic were among Tuesday's opening-round winners at the $300,000 Idea Prokom Open.

The third-seeded Safina, the 2002 Sopot titlist, defeated Czech lucky-loser Michaela Pastikova 6-4, 6-4, while the 11th-seeded Koukalova handled German lucky-loser Martina Muller 7-5, 6-3. Koukalova was last year's runner-up here to Israeli Anna Smashnova-Pisotlesi. In other seeded action on Day 2, No. 5 Czech Iveta Benesova blitzed Polish wild card Magdalena Kiszczynska 6-2, 6-3 and No. 9 Italian Flavia Pennetta pasted Croatian qualifier Sanda Mamic 6-1, 6-2 on the red clay at SKT Tennis Center. Other first-round winners were Czech qualifier Eva Birnerova and Czech lucky- loser Libuse Prusova, Slovakian Lubomira Kurhajcova, Spaniard Nuria Llagostera Vives, Croat Silvija Talaja and Russian Vera Douchevina. This week's winner will claim $50,000. The top seeds are French Open champion Anastasia Myskina of Russia and the aforementioned Smashnova-Pistolesi.

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