Pavlyuchenkova battles into round two in Monterrey

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova made an uncertain start to the defence of her Monterrey Open title after being pushed all the way in her first-round encounter with Eleni Daniilidou.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova made an uncertain start to the defence of her Monterrey Open title after being pushed all the way in her first-round encounter with Eleni Daniilidou.

Pavlyuchenkova, the second seed at this hard-court event behind Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic, looked in good touch in the first set but lost the second on a tie-breaker as her Greek opponent found her range.

The Russian held it together in the decider, however, claiming two breaks of serve to Daniilidou’s one to prevail 6-2 6-7 (5/7) 6-4 in two hours and 51 minutes.

Julia Goerges of Germany became the second of the leading seeds to crash out as she went down to a straight-sets loss to Ksenia Pervak of Russia.

Goerges, the fourth seed, slumped to a 6-1 7-5 defeat to bow out just 24 hours after third seed Aravane Rezai also fell at the first hurdle.

Fifth-seeded Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia had no such problems as she defeated Laura Pous-Tio of Spain 6-2 6-4, while Sara Errani of Italy, the sixth seed, was a 6-2 6-4 winner over Johanna Larsson of Sweden.

Barbora Zahlavova Strycova defeated Romina Oprandi 6-0 4-6 6-1, Alize Cornet was a 7-5 6-1 victor against Simona Halep and Melanie Oudin beat fellow American Vania King 6-4 6-1

There were also first-round wins for Olga Govortsova, Sybille Bammer, Lucie Hradecka and Aleksandra Wozniak.

Top seed Jankovic meets Lourdes Dominguez Lino in the first round on Wednesday.

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