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Top-seeded Niculescu out in 1st round at Tashkent

Top-seeded Monica Niculescu of Romania was knocked out in the first round of the Tashkent Open on Tuesday, falling 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 to 135th-ranked Karin Knapp of Italy.

Niculescu, who was also beaten in the first round of the U.S. Open, looked in control after the first set but was broken decisively in the eighth game of the second. She then lost the final three games of the decider.

Croatian qualifier Donna Vekic upset fourth-seeded Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 7-6 (3), 6-3, and Russian qualifier Anna Chakvetadze defeated Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine 6-4, 6-3.