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Safina, Serena win openers in China

  |   Oct. 4, 2009 at 2:52 PM
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BEIJING, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Top seeds Dinara Safina of Russia and American Serena Williams posted straight-set victories Sunday in the first-round of the China Open in Beijing.

Safina, the No. 1 seed, eliminated Roberta Vinci of Italy 6-4, 6-4 and Williams, seeded second, defeated Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 7-5, 6-4.

Three seeded Russian players were among others who advanced. Fourth-seeded Elena Dementieva whipped Germany's Anna-Lena Groenefeld 6-4, 6-4, sixth-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova outlasted China's Jie Zheng 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 and Vera Zvonareva, No. 7, routed Romania's Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-2.

Spaniard Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez upset fifth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-2), 6-0.

The ninth-seed, Belarusian Victoria Azarenka, beat countrywoman Olga Govortsova 6-1, 6-3 and No. 14 Marion Bartoli of France ousted Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.

Others advancing included Ekaterina Makarova of Russia and China's Shuai Zhang, both unseeded.

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