Barthel, Begu notch wins in Austria

Two of this week's top-three seeds -- German Mona Barthel and Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu -- were a pair of easy opening-round winners Monday at the Gastein Ladies tennis event.

The top-seeded Barthel dismantled helpless 21-year-old American Chiara Scholl 6-0, 6-0 in only 35 minutes, while the third seed Begu blitzed German wild card Carina Witthoeft 6-3, 6-3 on the red clay at Hotel Europaischerhof.

Meanwhile, Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus halted a record-tying losing skid by ousting seventh-seeded Spaniard Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 and eighth- seeded Italian Karin Knapp leveled Russian Valeria Solovyeva 6-3, 6-2. Rus had lost her previous 17 WTA matches. Sandy Collins of the U.S. lost 17 matches in a row from 1984-87.

France's Alize Cornet, who is not defending her title this year, defeated Belgian Yanina Wickmayer in last year's Bad Gastein finale.

The winner of this $235,000 tournament will earn $42,000.