Tennis

Safarova, Keys win; Kirilenko exits Charleston

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The Sports Network
3/31/2014 6:01:15 PM
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Charleston, SC - Former runner-up Lucie Safarova and 15th- seeded American Madison Keys were a pair of opening-round winners, while 10th- seeded Russian Maria Kirilenko was sent packing Monday at the Family Circle Cup tennis event.

The ninth-seeded Safarova doused Swede Johanna Larsson 6-2, 6-3 on the green clay at Family Circle Tennis Center. The Czech player was a finalist here two years ago and captured back-to-back doubles titles in 2012 and last year.

Making her 2014 season debut, the former world No. 5 Kirilenko succumbed to Swiss qualifier Belinda Bencic 6-1, 7-5. Kirilenko had been sidelined since the end of last season because of a knee injury.

The 19-year-old Keys, meanwhile, advanced by sneaking past Croat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, 7-6 (7-0), 7-6 (7-3).

In other action involving Americans, Lauren Davis leveled German Dinah Pfizenmaier 6-1, 6-4; Russian Alla Kudryavtseva dismissed Christina McHale 6-3, 7-5; South African Chanelle Scheepers overcame Alison Riske 4-6, 6-2, 6-3; and Czech Petra Cetkovska topped Varvara Lepchenko 6-1, 2-6, 6-0. Davis will face former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic in the second round.

Also advancing on Day 1 were France's Virginie Razzano, Brazil's Teliana Pereira, Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova, Croat Ajla Tomljanovic, and Dutch qualifier Kiki Bertens.

Serena Williams has won the last two titles and is a three-time Charleston champ. The world No. 1 star topped the 2007 titlist Jankovic in last year's finale.

Last week's Miami champion Williams and Jankovic are this week's top seeds.

Maria Kirilenko (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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