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Nine ties managed to be played in the first round of the women’s main draw on Sunday before rain called a halt to proceedings in the evening.
The biggest casualty was No.15 seed Vera Zvonareva, who was thrashed 6-4, 6-0 by Petra Kvitova, who was at the Foro Italico last weekend for the Fed Cup semi-final.
No.14 seed Nadia Petrova had no such problems, defeating home favourite Tathiana Garbin (photo) 6-3, 6-2. Another Italian, Alberta Brianti, had more success, defeating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 7-6(5). No.9 seed Vika Azarenka was a set up when the rains came but emerged late in the evening to conclude a 6-1, 6-4 win over Sesil Karatantcheva, while the likes of Aravane Rezai and Timea Bacsinszky will have to try again on Monday.
Stuttgart finalist and newly minted world No.8 Sam Stosur also pulled out of the tournament late on Sunday night. Her place was taken by lucky loser Pauline Parmentier as the highest ranked second-round loser from the qualifiers. The French player will face Dominika Cibulkova on Tuesday.