Wuhan (China): Women's tennis star Maria Sharapova's return to action from injury suffered a setback as the No.2 seed lost her first match since Wimbledon at the Wuhan Open second round here on Monday.
Maria Sharapova. Pic/AFP
It's the first match for the Russian, who had a bye in the first round, in nearly three months as she has been recovering from her leg injury inflicted at Wimbledon. But she had to withdrew for a left forearm injury this time halfway as she was leading 7-6 (1), 6-7 (4), 2-1 against Barbora Strycova from the Czech Republic, reports Xinhua.
Another seeded player who had an early exit is Italy's Sara Errania, seeded 16th, who was eliminated by French player Carolina Garcia 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-2 in the first round.
No.8 seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic beat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia 7-6 (4), 5-7, 7-6 (5) to be the first to advance into the third round.
No.9 seed Ana Ivanovic made short work of Alexandra Dulgheru in her opening match.
Last week, Ivanovic saw the defence of her Tokyo title come to an end at the hands of Dominika Cibulkova. However, the Serb picked herself up to register a tidy 6-1, 6-3 win over Dulgheru.
"At the beginning of the first set in the first game I was a little nervous, but luckily I wasn't behind for long," Ivanovic said.
"As the match went on I really tried to step it up a little more and I managed to get the break. I'm really happy to get the win and be in the second round here."
In the second round, Ivanovic will face Madison Brengle, who saw off Cibulkova 6-3, 6-4, while also advancing in their section of the draw was Sloane Stephens, a 7-6 (4), 6-3 winner over Alison Riske.
Other seeded players to progress to second round are 15th seeded US Open finalist Roberta Vinci of Italy, who beat Montenegro's qualifier Danka Kovinic 5-7, 6-1, 6-3, and 11th seeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland and also 14th seeded Madison Keys of America.
Bencic held off Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia 7-5, 7-5, while Keys outlasted Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (4).