TORONTO – Top seeded Serena Williams won her opening match of 2015 Rogers Cup despite dropping the first set 2-6 to unseeded Italian opponent Flavia Pennetta.
“I was really frustrated with how I was playing. I was making so many errors,” said Williams following the match in Toronto. “Once I started being more positive, I started actually playing better, too.”
The three-time Rogers Cup champion won the proceeding sets 6-3 and 6-0 to advance to the third round of the tournament.
Tuesday also saw six other seeded players in action with half of them eliminated.
No. 9 seed Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain, No. 10 seed Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic and No. 12 seed Timea Bacsinszky of Hungary all fell in three-set opening matches.
Suarez Navarro and Bacinsky’s matches both lasted in excess of three hours (6-3, 6-7, 6-4 and 3-6, 7-6, 7-6) before ultimately losing to their respective opponents, Alize Cornet and Alison Riske.
The seeded players on the winning side featured No. 11 seed Ekaterina Makarova of Russia, who cruised to a victory in straight sets. While No. 15 seed Sara Errani of Italy and No. 16 seed Andrea Petkovic of Germany needed three sets to advance to the second round of the tournament.
The day also included notable unseeded players in action with mixed results.
Former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus and Jelena Jankovic of Serbia both won their opening matches in straight sets to advance to the second round. Azarenka continues her journey back to the top following a foot injury suffered in 2014. While Jankovic looks to regain her consistency and better her 2007 Rogers Cup runner-up finish.
Meanwhile, the 2011 Rogers Cup runner-up and 2011 U.S. Open champion, Samantha Stosur of Australia was ousted in straight sets by Daria Gavrilova of Russia.
Lastly, the evening session saw Canadian Eugenie Bouchard fall to Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in three sets (6-0, 5-7, 6-2). After a breakout 2014 season that saw her reach Wimbledon finals and semifinals of Australian Open and French Open, Bouchard has dropped from No. 5 in the world to No. 26.