Ace-man Karvolic puts out Monfils; Safin advances

Ace-man Karvolic puts out Monfils; Safin advances

Maria Sharapova on her way to an upset win over Nadia Petrova in Toronto on Monday. Reuters

The towering 6-foot-10 Croat, who beat Roger Federer on his way to the semifinals last year, won the deciding tie-break 7-2 to advance to the second round after two hours and 10 minutes.

Former world number one Marat Safin, who is set to retire at the end of the year, eased past American Robby Ginepri 7-5, 7-6, while seeds Gilles Simon of France and Croatia's Marin Cilic also claimed first-round wins.

Ninth seed Simon eased past American wildcard Wayne Odesnik 6-3, 6-2 and will now play Russian Igor Andreev, who beat Nicolas Kiefer of Germany 6-1, 7-5.

Croatia's 14th seed Cilic beat another former world number one in Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-3, 6-4, and will play another Spaniard in David Ferrer, who prevailed 7-5, 6-2 over Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka.

Jose Acasuso of Argentina set up a second-round meeting with world number one Federer by beating Lukasz Kubot of Poland 6-4, 6-3, but 15th seed Tommy Robredo of Spain fell 6-3, 7-5 to Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.

World number six Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina, beaten in the final of the Montreal Masters by Briton Andy Murray on Sunday, withdrew from the tournament citing fatigue.

Sharapova sizzles

In Toronto, Russian Maria Sharapova signalled she might be close to a return to top form by dismissing 10th-seeded Nadia Petrova 6-3, 6-4 in the first round of the $2 million Toronto Cup.

It was rough opening day for the French on the Canadian hardcourts with 13th seed Marion Bartoli and 15th seed Amelie Mauresmo both bowing out. Bartoli lost 6-4, 6-3 to Ukraine's Alona Bondarenko.

Twice champion Mauresmo displayed plenty of rust in falling 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 to 27th-ranked Italian Francesca Schiavone. Fourteenth seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland stopped Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3, 6-3.