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TENNIS

Former US Open champ Stosur overcomes tough first set for 7-5, 6-1 win over Lepchenko

Former U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur beat Varvara Lepchenko 7-5, 6-1 in the first round of the Southern California Open on Monday.

The fifth-seeded Stosur needed 1 hour, 28 minutes to beat the American after struggling through the opening set.

The 13th-ranked Stosur was granted a wild card after losing to Olga Govortsova last week in the opening round of the Bank of the West Classic. The Australian wanted to get more time on the hard courts in preparation for the U.S. Open, an event she won in 2011.

Francesca Schiavone, the 2010 French Open champion, defeated her Italian countrywoman, Flavia Pennetta, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (6), 6-4 in a first-round match that lasted 2:58.

No. 6 seed Jelena Jankovic of Serbia faced American Mallory Burdette in the featured night match.

Stosur took advantage of Lepchenko's first serve by winning 53 percent of those points and breaking her serve five times.