STANFORD: Fifth-seeded Belgian Yanina Wickmayer beat Chang Taiwan’s Kai-chen 7-5, 2-6, 7-5 in the first-round of the Bank of the West Classic on Monday.
Wickmayer, who reached the third round at Wimbledon, is looking for her first WTA title this year and the fourth of her career. She reached the quarterfinals at Stanford two years ago. Chang played her first main-draw match in a month.
Also, sixth-seeded Chanelle Scheepers beat qualifier Grace Min 6-4, 6-4, and Michelle Larcher De Brito defeated Australia's Jarmila Gajdosova 5-7, 6-2, 6-3.
Britain's Heather Watson stopped American Sloane Stephens, 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-1. The 19-year-old Stephens was the youngest player in the field. Serena Williams, who plays her first match on Wednesday, is the oldest at 30. American Coco Vandeweghe — who failed to make it out of the qualifying tournament but made the main draw when Bojana Jovanovski was injured — beat Melinda Czink of Hungary 6-4, 6-1.
Canadian Stephanie Dubois was forced out of the tournament with
a foot injury and seventh-seeded Petra Martic withdrew with an injury. Both Watson and Stephens celebrated their career high singles ranking on Monday. Watson entered play ranked No 79 after reaching the
third round at Wimbledon.