Former top-five star Svetlana Kuznetsova was a mild opening-round upset winner Monday at the $235,000 Portugal Open tennis event.
The two-time Grand Slam champion from Russia, a wild card this week, toppled sixth-seeded American Varvara Lepchenko 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 6-2 at this clay-court French Open tune-up.
Meanwhile, three other seeded women avoided upsets on Day 1, as No. 4 Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain spanked New Zealand's Marina Erakovic 6-3, 6-0, No. 5 Sorana Cirstea of Romania got past Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-2, 2-6, 6-1, and No. 7 Elena Vesnina of Russia handled Portuguese wild card Maria Joao Koehler 6-4, 6-1. Suarez Navarro was last year's Portugal Open runner-up to Estonian Kaia Kanepi, in Estoril. Medina Garrigues captured this event two years ago.
Additional first-round wins came for Belgian Yanina Wickmayer, the 2009 Portugal Open champion, and Japan's Ayumi Morita.
This week's top seed, French slugger Marion Bartoli, will open her stay in Oeiras against Chinese Peng Shuai on Tuesday.
Also on Tuesday, former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone will battle Spaniard Lourdes Dominguez Lino in a rematch of their championship match affair this past Sunday in Marrakech, where the Italian won in straight sets to capture the title at the Moroccan Grand Prix.
This week's Portugal Open champion will pocket $42,000.