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Defending Champ Wins Opener

Maria Kirilenko was tested but won her first round at the Hansol Korea Open on Tuesday.

Published September 22, 2009 12:00

Defending Champ Wins Opener
Maria Kirilenko

SEOUL, South Korea - The favorites were almost out in full force as the first round of the Hansol Korea Open kicked off on Tuesday, with seven of the eight seeds playing their openers at the International-level event.

Anna-Lena Groenefeld pulled off the first upset of the tournament, beating No.4 seed Sorana Cirstea in a see-saw three-setter, 76(3) 36 63. After losing the first set it looked as though Cirstea would roll to victory, winning the second set relatively routinely and going up a break early in the third. But former Top 20 player Groenefeld rebounded with three breaks of her own in the decider, eventually finishing the Romanian off and exacting revenge for a loss in the pair's only previous encounter, just over a month ago in Cincinnati.

The rest of the seeds went 6-0, with No.2 seed Anabel Medina Garrigues, No.3 seed Francesca Schiavone, No.5 seed Alisa Kleybanova, No.6 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, No.7 seed Vera Dushevina and No.8 seed Sybille Bammer all moving through. Only Bammer went to three sets, rallying from a near-first set blowout to beat Ekaterina Makarova, 26 64 64.

Other early winners on Day 2 of the Hansol Korea Open were Magdalena Rybarikova, Maria KirilenkoAnastasija Sevastova, Chan Yung-Jan, Chanelle Scheepers, Meghann Shaughnessy and Chang Kai-Chen.

The last two first round matches and the first wave of second round matches are on Wednesday, including top seed Daniela Hantuchova's opener.

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