Second-seeded Roberta Vinci struggled past qualifier Giulia Gatto-Monticone 7-6 (6), 6-3 in the first round of the Italiacom Open on Tuesday.
Vinci will next play 2011 runner-up Polona Hercog of Slovenia, who beat Eva Birnerova 6-4, 6-1. Last year’s runner-up, Barbora Zahlavova Strycov, is also safely through after she defeated Kristyna Pliskova 6-4, 6-4.
Two seeded players were eliminated, with sixth-seeded Irina-Camelia Begu losing 7-5, 7-5 to Renata Voracova and Dinah Pfizenmaier beating eighth-seeded Karolina Pliskova.
Fourth-seeded Klara Zakopalova is through following a 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 victory over 2009 winner Flavia Pennetta, while fifth-seeded Lourdes Dominguez Lino also progressed after opponent Alexandra Dulgheru retired when losing 5-1.
Five-time winner Anabel Medina Garrigues is also through after beating Kristina Barrois of Germany 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
Fellow Spaniard Estrella Cabeza Candela cruised past Alice Matteucci of Italy 6-4, 6-1.