Serena, Safina make a shaky beginning

Serena, Safina make a shaky beginning

Safina, who must at least match Williams's progress over the next week in Beijing to retain the number one ranking, was equally unconvincing in her 6-4 6-4 victory over Italian Roberta Vinci earlier in the day.

Fifth seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark suffered a first-round upset, crashing out 6-7 7-6 6-0 to Spain's Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.

Fourth seed Elena Dementieva had no such problems with her opening match and dispensed with Germany's Anna-Lena Groenefeld 6-4 6-0 in just over an hour.
Dementieva's sixth-seeded fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova started the day by damaging hopes of a first local champion with a 7-6 7-5 defeat of China's number two Zheng Jie.

Simon victorious

Frenchman Gilles Simon claimed his first title of the year after a 7-5, 6-3 win over Serbian Viktor Troicki in the Thailand Open on Sunday.

The pair were evenly matched throughout the one hour, 15 minute encounter but it was the Serbian's mistakes that ultimately cost him his first career title.