New Haven, CT (Sports Network) - American crowd favorite Sloane Stephens and
four-time tournament champion Caroline Wozniacki were among the first-round
winners Monday at the New Haven Open, a final U.S. Open tune-up.
The sixth-seeded Stephens got past Slovakian qualifier Anna Schmiedlova 6-4,
6-4 on the hardcourts at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale University.
Wozniacki, who titled here four straight years from 2008-11, had a tougher
time in her opening match with Peng Shuai. The fourth-seeded former U.S. Open
finalist dropped the first set but was leading the second when Peng retired
due to dizziness to give Wozniacki the 2-6, 3-1 victory.
That match was delayed more than two hours by rain, with the extended stoppage
forcing defending tournament champion Petra Kvitova's first-round bout to be
postponed until Tuesday. The third-seeded Czech, who downed Russian Maria
Kirilenko in last year's New Haven finale, will take on Urszula Radwanska.
Day-2 upsets came when nifty Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro took out fifth-
seeded Italian Roberta Vinci 7-5, 6-3 and Czech veteran Klara Zakopalova
doused eighth-seeded Slovak Dominika Cibulkova 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Surging Romanian Simona Halep continued her recent winning ways with a 6-2,
6-1 pasting of wild card and fading Slovak Daniela Hantuchova. Halep has
captured no less than three WTA titles over the last couple of months.
Also advancing were Russians Elena Vesnina, Ekaterina Makarova and Anastasia
Pavlyuchenkova as well as a trio of qualifiers -- American Alison Riske,
Puerto Rico's Monica Puig and Italian Karin Knapp.
Vesnina was the 2009 New Haven runner-up to Wozniacki.
Former French Open runner-up Sara Errani is the top seed this week and will
face Makarova in the round of 16.
This week's winner will earn $117,000.
The Sports Network