Scheepers among first-day winners in Guangzhou

Defending champion Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa was among the winners Monday on the first day of play at the Guangzhou International.

The fifth-seeded Scheepers captured her maiden WTA title last year, beating Magdalena Rybarikova in the final. On Monday, she opened defense of that crown with a 6-0, 6-3 rout of Chinese wild card Wang Qiang.

Other first-round winners Monday included Serbia's Bojana Jovanovski, Luxembourg's Mandy Minella and rising British star Laura Robson.

Jovanovski cruised past Hungary's Timea Babos, 6-1, 6-3, while Minella went the distance in a 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 triumph over Frenchwoman Pauline Parmentier. Robson held a 6-2, 3-1 advantage over Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor when the Spaniard retired because of a left thigh strain.

The 18-year-old Robson is playing for the first time since her run to the fourth round at the U.S. Open, where she sent Kim Clijsters into retirement with a second-round win and followed with an upset of China's Li Na before falling to Samantha Stosur.

First-round play continues Tuesday with top-seeded Marion Bartoli of France and 2010 Guangzhou winner Jarmila Gajdosova of Australia in action. Bartoli will take on Taiwan lucky loser Kai-Chen Chang, while Gajdosova will meet Thailand's Nudnina Luangnam.

The winner of this WTA International event will earn a first prize of $37,000.