Bondarenko shock for Venus; Clijsters powers past Baltacha

Bondarenko shock for Venus; Clijsters powers past Baltacha

Kateryna Bondarenko

Kim Clijsters' return, however, had a much happier ending as the hugely popular 2005 champion continued her comeback from a two-year absence with a business-like 6-3, 6-4 first round victory over British qualifier Elena Baltacha.

Venus, who has 41 career titles but never won a match at this event, had looked ready to end her Canadian drought, racing through the first set in 28 minutes, before Bondarenko surged back.  Venus was joined at the exit by Russian sixth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, the French Open champion falling 6-4, 6-3 to Australian Samantha Stosur.
In other first-round action, ninth seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus eased past China's Peng Shuai 6-3, 6-3 while 11th-seeded Serb Ana Ivanovic needed three sets to beat Slovakian qualifier Magdalena Rybarikova 2-6, 6-3, 6-2. Italian 12th seed Flavia Pennetta advanced with a routine 6-3, 6-3 win over Russian Maria Kirilenko while 16th seed Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia beat Italy's Sara Errani 6-4, 6-2.

Simon advances

Ninth seed Gilles Simon booked his place in the third round of the Cincinnati Masters on Tuesday after a 7-6, 6-7, 6-1 win over Russian Igor Andreev.

The Frenchman secured a meeting with either eighth seed Nikolay Davydenko or another Russian Igor Kunitsyn, who upset American James Blake 7-6, 6-7, 6-4. Croatian 14th seed Marin Cilic was beaten 7-6, 6-2 by Spaniard David Ferrer in the day's other second-round encounter, while three other seeds went out in the first round.

Former world number one Lleyton Hewitt saved two match points on his way to beating 12th seed Robin Soderling 3-6, 7-6, 6-4.

Tenth seed Fernando Gonzalez retired after losing the first set 6-4 to Czech Tomas Berdych, while 11th seed Fernando Verdasco was beaten 7-6, 7-6 by fellow Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, who now plays Russian Mikhail Youzhny, a 7-5, 6-2 winner over Romania's Victor Hanescu.

Italian Andreas Seppi set up a second-round meeting with world number three Rafael Nadal with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory over Czech Jan Hernych.

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