Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears were beaten in their Internazionali BNL d'Italia opener, as were Alla Kudryavtseva and Anastasia Rodionova.
WTA Staff

ROME, Italy - Marina Erakovic and Arantxa Parra Santonja edged Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears in one of a couple of upsets in first round doubles action at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia.

Erakovic and Parra Santonja were seeking their first match win that didn't come via retirement, while sixth-seeded Americans Kops-Jones and Spears are eight-time WTA titlists and are fourth on the Road To Singapore leaderboard.

But Erakovic served out both tight sets at 5-4 for the 6-4, 6-4 triumph.

"We were as aggressive as we could be because we know that Raquel and Abi are super aggressive," Erakovic said. "We really needed to take it to them and we tried to do that most of the match. We had our ups and downs but I think we played a solid match and hopefully we can keep improving."

"It was a great match," Parra Santonja said. "We had only played one tournament before together. I thought we would make a good team because we have good groundstrokes and serves. I think she's a very nice person and that makes it more comfortable for me to be in sync with her."

The day's other surprise saw first-time pairing Monica Niculescu and Zhang Shuai get past No.7 seeds Alla Kudryavtseva and Anastasia Rodionova, 6-4, 4-6, 10-8.

Another first-time combination, Daniela Hantuchova and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, fought off six set points in the first set of their 7-6(1), 6-1 defeat of Vania King and Zheng Jie.

Avoiding the upset bug were eighth-seeded Germans Julia Goerges and Anna-Lena Groenefeld, who were 6-4, 6-4 winners over Gioia Barbieri and Nastassja Burnett.

Among Tuesday's matches is a clash featuring No.5 seeds Cara Black and Sania Mirza and reigning Miami champions Martina Hingis and Sabine Lisicki. Hingis was the champion here in doubles in 1999 alongside Anna Kournikova and in singles in 2006.