BRUSSELS, Belgium - The seeds went one-for-three as the first round of the Brussels Open wrapped up on Tuesday, with Kaia Kanepi cruising but Peng Shuai and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova both falling at the Premier stop.
Showing few lingering effects from the bilateral foot injury that kept her out of Rome last week, the No.8-seeded Kanepi broke serve six times en route to a one-hour, 17-minute, 63 62 victory over American qualifier Irina Falconi.
Elsewhere, the No.7-seeded Peng, who reached her first Premier-level final right here a year ago, led 4-1 in the first set and 3-1 in the second set but fell to Sofia Arvidsson, 75 63; and No.9 seed Pavlyuchenkova had two set points at 5-4 in the first set but wound up falling to Chanelle Scheepers, 75 63.
After a 2011 season that saw her reach the quarterfinals or better 11 times and make it as high as No.14 in the world, Peng has had a difficult start to 2012, reaching just one quarterfinal in 12 events so far and now ranking No.30.
Other winners were Monica Niculescu and Yanina Wickmayer, qualifiers Urszula Radwanska and Arantxa Rus and lucky losers Lesia Tsurenko and Bojana Jovanovski. Wickmayer, Belgium's No.1, went on a late surge in her match, rallying from 63 43 down to beat Anna Chakvetadze, 36 64 61.
"It was a tough match but I had to power through and I'm glad to have won," Wickmayer said. "It's special to play at home and have the crowd behind you."
Next for Wickmayer is No.4 seed Dominika Cibulkova. Cibulkova and Wickmayer are tied head-to-head, 2-2, but this is their first meeting on clay.
"I know Cibulkova well, we've played each other a lot and we're really good friends too," Wickmayer said of the Slovak. "She's playing really well at the moment, so it will be a tough match, but I'm really looking forward to it."
Rus won a grinder over Zheng Jie in the last match of the day, 75 36 64. The Dutchwoman burst into prominence almost exactly a year ago at the French Open, upsetting Kim Clijsters, who had won two Grand Slams in a row going in. Clijsters announced Wednesday she will retire after this year's US Open.
"Beating Kim was my best memory of the year," Rus said. "It was already so nice to just play against her, because for me she's like a hero. She has had a really amazing career. She's a great player and a great girl. For me it's too bad she's going to stop because I've always really loved watching her play."
Tsurenko got a date with the tournament's top seed, Agnieszka Radwanska. The No.105-ranked Tsurenko will be playing the No.3-ranked Radwanska for the first time - she will be playing a Top 10 player for just the second time, having lost to Serena Williams in Fed Cup play earlier this season, 63 62.
The entire second round of the Brussels Open will take place on Wednesday.