Brussels, Belgium – American Varvara Lepchenko was a hard- fought opening-round winner Monday at the $690,000 Brussels Open, a final clay-court French Open tune-up.
The seventh seed outlasted Serb Bojana Jovanovski 6-2, 6-7 (8-10), 6-4 in 2 hours, 37 minutes at Royal Primerose Tennis Club.
Fourth-seeded American Sloane Stephens was tied with Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova, 6-3, 2-6, 2-2, when their match was suspended for the day because of darkness.
Some other Day-1 wins came for British wild card Elena Baltacha, Slovak Jana Cepelova and Belarusian Olga Govortsova.
This week's top seed is reigning champion and former world No. 1 star Caroline Wozniacki. The Dane beat Chinese Peng Shuai in last year's finale.
The 2013 Brussels titlist will earn $120,000.