Pierce, Schiavone advance at Rogers Cup

August 3, 2004 07:01 AM

Mary Pierce in action during her first-round match against Marlene Weingartner at the Rogers Cup© Brian Bahr/Getty Images
MONTREAL (Ticker) -- Some of the top-ranked players in the world may have been missing, but the seeded players that were in action at the Rogers Cup on Monday made their presence felt. No. 11 Francesca Schiavone of Italy was one of five seeded players to advance Monday at the $1.3 million hardcourt event.

Schiavone, the highest seed in action, struggled a bit in the second set but ousted Canadian wild card Marie-Eve Pelletier, 6-3, 7-5. The 18th-ranked player in the world, Schiavone will face the winner of Tuesday's Nathalie Dechy-Laura Granville match in the second round.

No. 12 Karolina Sprem of Croatia also moved into the second round, blowing past wild card Maureen Drake of Canada, 6-2, 6-1. Sprem, playing here for the first time, bounced back nicely from a straight-sets loss to Lindsay Davenport last week.

Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria, the 13th seed, grinded out a 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-4 victory over Russia's Lina Krasnoroutskaya.

The final seeded player to advance was No. 17 Mary Pierce of France, who easily dispatched Marlene Weingartner of Germany, 6-1, 6-1.

"My opponent made a lot of errors," Pierce said. "It was a relatively easy match, not hard physically. It was easier than I expected."

Pierce was awarded a seed when Serena Williams, who was expected to be the top seed, was forced to withdraw with left knee inflammation on Sunday. Williams was replaced as the top seed by Anastasia Myskina of Russia -- the fifth-ranked player in the world.

Lindsay Davenport, the leader in the Porsche Race to the Championships, has elected to take the week off after reaching the finals in each of the last three tournaments. Davenport defeated Myskina, 6-1,6-1, to win the Acura Classic on Sunday.

Defending champion Justine Henin-Hardine, who is recovering from an illness which has kept her from competing for most of the last four months, announced two weeks ago that she would be unable to compete in the tournament she won in Toronto last year.

The event, which alternates yearly between Montreal and Toronto, will feature Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova of Russia and seventh-ranked American Jennifer Capriati.

No. 2 Amelie Mauresmo of France won this hardcourt event in 2002, the last time it was in Montreal. After a first-round bye, she will take on Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand in the second round. Tanasugarn bounced Spain's Marta Merrero, 6-3, 6-3 on Monday.