Petrova through after scare
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:06
The fifth-seeded Russian fought back to beat Kateryna Bondarenko 3-6 6-3 6-1 at the hardcourt event.
Petrova was enduring a mediocre season until breaking through for her first title of 2008 in August in Cincinnati.
The 26-year-old built on that victory with semi-final efforts in Bali and Tokyo, along with a runner-up performance in Stuttgart.
The eight-time champion came into this tournament with just a 2-2 win-loss record over her last two events, however, including an opening-round loss to Flavia Pennetta last week in Zurich.
But Petrova seems to enjoy this tournament, having won here three years ago and finished runner-up in 2003 and 2006.
She will have her work cut out to go all the way this time though, with the likes of top-seed Ana Ivanovic and number three Agnieszka Radwanska in her section of the draw.
Sixth-seeded Marion Bartoli booked her place in the second round, but needed two hours 42 minutes to complete down a 6-4 2-6 7-6 (10/8) win over Ai Sugiyama of Japan.
The 33-year-old Sugiyama won her first five meetings with the Frenchwoman, but has now lost the last three encounters.
Other first-round winners on Tuesday were Dominika Cibulkova, Alona Bondarenko, Maria Kirilenko and Nuria Llagostera Vives.