Ana Ivanovic of Serbia beat seventh-seeded Francesca Schiavone 6-1, 7-5 Tuesday to advance to the second round of the Dubai Tennis Championships.
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Ivanovic breezed through the first set limiting her Italian opponent to just one game in 33 minutes. Schiavone put up a tougher fight in the second, but was no match for the 24-year-old Serb, who took the set to wrap up the match in 1 hour, 40 minutes.
Earlier Tuesday, fifth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland advanced after defeating Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada 6-1, 6-7 (6), 7-5.
The 22-year-old Radwanska cruised through the first set in 27 minutes, but she needed another two hours to win her opening match in Dubai. After losing the second set on a tiebreaker, Radwanska struggled to regain concentration in the third and had to come back from 5-3 down to win it 7-5.
Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka is the top-seeded player in Dubai. The top-ranked Belarusian will meet Julia Goerges of Germany in her opening match on Wednesday.
The field also includes defending champion Caroline Wozniacki and U.S. Open winner Sam Stosur, but Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, French Open winner Li Na and Vera Zvonareva all withdrew because of illness and injury on Monday.
On Tuesday, two more players joined the list of withdrawals.
Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia retired with a hamstring injury while trailing Iveta Benesova 3-1, and Maria Kirilenko withdrew from a doubles match with Sabine Lisicki against Anabel Medina Garrigues and Alicja Rosolska.
Kirilenko has a neck injury but is set to play Ivanovic in the second round on Wednesday, organizers said.
Later Tuesday, sixth-seeded Marion Bartoli of France will meet China’s Shuai Peng in her opening match. The winner of the match will play Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova in the second round. Hantuchova advanced after defeating Polona Hercog of Slovenia 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4).
Third-seeded Wozniacki will open the defense of her title on Wednesday when she meets Simona Halep of Romania in the second round. Halep advanced Tuesday after defeating Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 6-2.
Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic also advanced Tuesday after ousting Croatia’s Petra Martic 6-3, 5-7, 6-3. Safarova will meet U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur in the second round.