Quebec City, QC – Reigning champion Barbora Zahlavova Strycova posted a first-round victory Tuesday at the $220,000 Bell Challenge tennis event.
The sixth-seeded Czech Zahlavova Strycova got past Canada's own Marie-Eve Pelletier 7-6 (7-2), 6-1 on the indoor carpet at PEPS Laval University.
Zahlavova Strycova defeated New Zealand's Marina Erakovic in last year's Quebec City finale.
Meanwhile, seventh-seeded Croat Petra Martic topped American lucky-loser Jessica Pegula 6-4, 7-5.
Also reaching the second round were Slovenian Petra Rampre and Melanie Oudin, who snuck past fellow American Irina Falconi 7-5, 7-6 (8-6).
The top seed here is Slovak Dominika Cibulkova, who will play her opening-rounder on Wednesday against Belgian Kirsten Flipkens.
This week's champion will earn $37,000.