Schiavone defeats Pennetta in first round of Indian Wells

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Flavia Pennetta, making a comeback to the WTA tour after wrist surgery, played Francesca Schiavone in an all Italian match in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open being played in the Californian desert town of Indian Wells. Pennetta, now ranked at 92 and Schiavone, ranked at 47, fought hard for the first set which Schiavone eventually took 7-5, but Schiavone ran away with the second set 6-1 to set up a meeting with 3rd seed Maria Sharapova in the second round.

The 60th ranked South African, Chanelle Scheepers, took on Kristina Mladenovic of France, ranked at 51. Although there is not much space between these two players in the rankings, the South African got the all important break in the first set to take it 6-4 and then ran away with the second 6-1 in just an hour and thirteen minutes on court. Her next opponent is another Frenchwoman, the 9th seeded Marion Bartoli.

Also in the first round, Ksenia Pervak of Kazakhstan, ranked at 93, met 42nd ranked Zie Zheng of China. These two players had never met on the tour before, but the lower ranked Pervak took complete control of this match, winning 6-1 6-2 in just an hour and ten minutes on court, to book a match up with 14th seed Roberta Vinci of Italy in the second round.

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