Fes, Morocco – Top seed Anabel Medina Garrigues was an easy opening-round winner, while defending champion Alberta Brianti exited the draw Monday at the $220,000 Moroccan Grand Prix tennis event.
The Spanish Medina Garrigues dismissed Russian Nina Bratchikova 6-2, 6-4 on the red clay at Royal Tennis Club de Fes Complexe Sportif.
Up next for the 2009 Fes champion and 2008 runner-up Medina Garrigues will be Luxembourg's Mandy Minella, who snuck past Russian Alexandra Panova 6-3, 7-6 (12-10).
The Italian Brianti succumbed to Romanian Alexandra Cadantu 5-7, 7-5, 6-1. Brianti beat Romanian Simona Halep in last year's Fes finale. Halep was also the runner-up here in 2010.
Sixth-seeded South African Chanelle Scheepers moved on with a 6-4, 6-4 handling of Aussie Anastasia Rodionova, while Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu doused Hungarian Timea Babos 7-6 (7-3), 6-3.
This week's field also features two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, who's seeded second.
The 2012 Fes champ will take home $37,000.