RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - In a match-up featuring the two oldest players in the draw, 32-year-old Lourdes Domínguez Lino got the best of 33-year-old Francesca Schiavone in first round action at the Rio Open on Tuesday.
The series between the two dates all the way back to 1998, with Domínguez Lino having won that first clash but then losing five straight - including last April's Marrakech final. But this time, the Spaniard was a 64 64 victor over the second-seeded Schiavone for her first WTA main draw win since her quarterfinal outing in Bastad last July.
"I played well. I tried to play my game, to play to her backhand with topspin," Domínguez Lino said. "The humid conditions were difficult today, but we knew the weather would be like that here, and I'm Spanish, so I like it. I'm happy I won."
Three other players also beat seeded foes for their first WTA main draw wins of the year. Brazilian No.1 Teliana Pereira topped No.4 seed Alexandra Cadantu, 63 64. Dinah Pfizenmaier rallied from a set and 2-0 down to edge No.7 seed Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, 26 63 64. And up 5-4 in the first set, Irina-Camelia Begu reeled off seven straight games for a 64 60 defeat of No.8 seed Vania King.
"It was a tough match," Pereira said. "Alexandra played so well. At the beginning, I was a little bit nervous because I'm not used to playing here in Brazil. But I think I played well overall and I'm so happy to get to play here.
"The crowd was unbelievable. I was like, 'Come on, I have to win because everyone is for me.' So I'm happy that I pulled it out."
"I didn't play my best tennis but I did the best I could," Zakopalova said. "I'm very happy that I'm through and I hope I'll play a better match tomorrow.
"The balls were flying a lot. The conditions are very different than Doha, but I like this hot weather and don't have any problem with it."
Zakopalova is also seeded first in doubles alongside fellow Czech Zahlavova Strycova, and the duo recorded a 60 62 first round win over new doubles No.2 Hsieh Su-Wei and her sister, Hsieh Shu-Ying.