Indian Wells, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Francesca Schiavone advanced to the next round of the BNP Paribas Open after trouncing compatriot Flavia Penneta 7-5, 6-1 Wednesday at Indian Wells.
Schiavone, former French Open champion, fended off a spirited challenge from Penneta in the first set before dominating her in the succeeding set.
With the win, the Italian arranged a second round clash with another former French Open Champion in Maria Sharapova, who received a first-round bye.
Meanwhile, world’s no.1 Victoria Azarenka will stake her 14-game win streak against the winner of the match between France’s Stephanie Foretz Gacon and former Indian Wells titlist Daniela Hantuchova.
Former world’s no.1 Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic and Caroline Wozniacki also arrived in Indian Wells to contend for the title.
In other first round matches, Shahar Peer defeated Marina Erakovic 6-3, 6-4; Simona Halep routed Lauren Davis 6-2 6-0; Ksenia Pervak bested Jie Zheng 6-1 6-2; Chanelle Scheepers blasted Kristina Mladenovic 6-4 6-1 and world’s no. 112 Maria Sanchez stunned Olga Puchkova 6-3, 6-3.