CINCINNATI, OH, USA - The Western & Southern Open kicked off on Monday, with a slew of first round matches taking the court, and a slew of marquee players meeting the press at the tournament's All-Access Hour.
Three seeds took the court and it didn't take long for the first few upsets of the week, as No.14 seed Francesca Schiavone hit 10 double faults and never looked comfortable during a 61 63 loss to Italian wildcard Camila Giorgi, and No.13 seed Jelena Jankovic lost a heartbreaker to Peng Shuai in the night session, serving for the match in the second set, leading 4-2 in the third set and holding five match points in the breaker but eventually falling, 57 75 76(8).
Jankovic has now lost her first match at 12 of her last 16 tournaments.
Meanwhile, No.11 seed Dominika Cibulkova moved smoothly past Uzbek qualifier Akgul Amanmuradova in straight sets, 63 64, avenging a loss in their only previous meeting on the clay courts of Stuttgart earlier this year.
Also making the second round of the Premier event were Julia Goerges, Anabel Medina Garrigues, Mona Barthel, qualifiers Urszula Radwanska, Johanna Larsson and Eleni Daniilidou and lucky loser Timea Babos.
The All-Access Hour also took place in the afternoon, giving the press a chance to ask questions to the biggest names at the tournament. One of the questions for Caroline Wozniacki was about her form coming into Cincinnati.
"I think I played some good tennis last week in Montréal," Wozniacki said. "I like playing here in Cincinnati. Last year I lost first round here, but it's a new year and a new tournament and I'm looking forward to playing here again. When you're on the court you're not really thinking of the pressure or the past."
Marion Bartoli was asked to assess her year. "It was extremely good until April, after Miami," the Frenchwoman commented. "I went into the clay court season with some very good matches and some very good wins, then my clay court season was a little dramatic. Especially having done so well at the French Open last year then falling so early this year, in the second round, it was honestly heartbreaking. But I've tried to bounce back, and since then things have been so-so. So overall it has been great, super low, then medium!"
And Sara Errani was asked about being on the receiving end of the first women's golden set of the Open Era, not winning a point during the first set of her 60 64 loss to Yaroslava Shvedova at Wimbledon. "It was strange it happened, but she played an incredible set," Errani said. "I think I made like three mistakes, so I didn't even play badly. Things like that can happen!"
Some not-so-great news came earlier in the day as well, as Ana Ivanovic had to withdraw from the tournament with a foot injury. "I'm very sorry to have to withdraw from this event - it kind of turned my season around two years ago and I was hoping to draw on those positive experiences this week. I've had soreness in my fight foot for the past week so I decided to have it checked - I did an MRI scan on the weekend and it showed a tear. The doctors have advised me to rest my foot totally for at least five days, so this means I can't play this week.
"I look forward to returning to Cincy next year and many years after that."