Rome, Italy (SportsNetwork.com) - Former world No. 1 stars Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka were among the Day-3 winners at the $2.7 million Italian Open.
The third-seeded Sharapova was leading Jarmila Gajdosova 6-2, 3-1 when the Aussie retired during their second-round match on the red clay at Foro Italico.
The reigning French Open titlist Sharapova is a two-time Italian Open champion.
Meanwhile, an unseeded Azarenka got past Czech Lucie Hradecka 7-5, 2-6, 6-1 in opening-round play in the "Eternal City."
Tenth-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro also posted a first-round win by holding off German Mona Barthel 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.
Another second-round result saw rising Swiss and two-time 2015 WTA event champion Timea Bacsinszky take out former Wimbledon runner-up Sabine Lisicki 6-4, 6-3.
Italian fan favorite Flavia Pennetta came up an opening-round loser at the hands of rising Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, 6-4, 6-2. Svitolina was a clay- court champ in Morocco two weeks ago.
Additional first-round wins came for France's Kristina Mladenovic, Romanians Irina-Camelia Begu and Alexandra Dulgheru, Russian qualifier Daria Gavrilova, and Serb Bojana Jovanovski.