Quebec City, QC – Top-seeded and defending champion Kirsten Flipkens went by way of an opening-round upset Tuesday, while two-time runner- up Bethanie Mattek-Sands was a straight-set winner at the $235,000 Bell Challenge tennis tournament.
Slovenian Polona Hercog took out July's surprise Wimbledon semifinalist in 6-3, 6-1 fashion on the indoor carpet at Laval University.
The Belgian Flipkens beat Czech Lucie Hradecka in last year's finale in Quebec.
The fourth-seeded American Mattek-Sands soared past Canadian wild card Stephanie Dubois 6-3, 6-4 to advance, while second-seeded Kristina Mladenovic of France held off American qualifier Melanie Oudin by a 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 6-2 margin.
Third-seeded Czech Lucie Safarova, the 2009 Bell Challenge runner-up, avoided an upset by drilling Georgian Anna Tatishvili 6-3, 6-2, while 2011 champion Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, of the Czech Republic, handled Greek Eleni Daniilidou 6-3, 7-5 on Day 2.
Seventh-seeded American Lauren Davis bounced back from a first set misstep to defeat Italy's Camila Giorgi 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-2.
In other first-round play, Kazakhstan's Sesil Karatantcheva topped Swiss fellow qualifier Amra Sadikovic 6-3, 6-4. French qualifier Julie Coin bested Portuguese Michelle Larcher de Brito 7-6 (7-5), 7-5, and Croat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni whipped Canada's Sharon Fichman 6-4, 6-0.
The 2013 Bell Challenge champion will earn $40,000.