Against this backdrop, 16th seeded Lucie Safarova’s heart must have sank when she learned the identity of her qualifier opponent at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati, knowing that she was in for a bumpy ride. Shvedova showed the world no.19 little mercy on the way to defeating her 6-3 6-4.
Shvedova will now face Urszula Radwanska, after the Polish player joined her big sis in the second round with a 6-2 6-4 victory over 21-year old Ksenia Pervak, denying Shvedova an all Kazakhstani encounter.
Elsewhere in the draw, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova made light work of Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro. The Russian had her sights set on the second round after winning the first set and proceeded put Suarez Navarro in her place, a whitewash in the second giving her the match 6-4 6-0.
Yet to regain the form which saw her reach three out of four grand slam quarter finals in 2011, the 17th seeded Russian will be relieved to have breezed through the opening round. She will now meet Germany’s Julia Goerges in the round two.