Source: AFP | 2013-3-8 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
FORMER French Open champion Francesca Schiavone defeated fellow Italian Flavia Pennetta 7-5, 6-1 on Wednesday to book a clash with second-seeded Maria Sharapova at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California.
Schiavone, the 2010 Roland Garros winner, improved to 5-2 against Pennetta, who has only recently returned from wrist surgery.
The all-Italian clash was among 16 first-round women's matches on the opening day of the combined ATP Masters and WTA hardcourt tournament, in which the 32 men's and 32 women's seeds enjoy first-round byes.
Jelena Jankovic will face a tough second-round clash against two-time grand slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, who needed just 71 minutes to beat Czech Andrea Hlavackova 6-3, 6-1.
Kuznetsova, winner of the 2004 US Open and 2009 French Open, is on the comeback trail after a knee injury that put her on crutches for two months, followed by weeks of rehabilitation that saw her miss every tournament after Wimbledon last year.
Once ranked as high as second in the world, Kuznetsova dropped to 85th but has now climbed back to 46th.
"I'm happy to be back on the court. This is the main thing," said Kuznetsova, who was runner-up at Indian Wells in 2007 and 2008.