BAKU, Azerbaijan -- Top-seeded Vera Zvonareva breezed through the opening round of the inaugural Baku Cup on Tuesday, while second-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova overcame the heat and 25 double-faults to win.
Zvonareva defeated Nigina Abduraimova of Ukraine 6-1, 7-5, and Pavlyuchenkova had to work harder for her 7-5, 6-4 win over 274th-ranked Valeria Solovieva.
Pavlyuchenkova had 16 double-faults in the first set and was treated for excessive heat after breaking to lead 3-1 in the final set.
Earlier, third-seeded Elena Vesnina defeated fellow Russian Yana Buchina 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.
Down 2-0 in the third set, Vesnina called a medical timeout and received treatment for her right shoulder.
When play resumed, Vesnina immediately recovered the break, held two match points on her opponent's serve at 5-4 and closed out the match on her third match point with a service return.
Vesnina will face France's Aravane Rezai in the second round of the hardcourt tournament. Rezai routed 15-year-old Kamilla Farhad of Azerbaijan 6-0, 6-2.
Fifth-seeded Monica Niculescu of Romania advanced when Greece's Eirini Georgatou retired because of a left ankle injury. Georgatou, down 5-1 when she quit, was taken to a hospital for examination.
Anna Tatishvili upset eighth-seeded Russian Evgeniya Rodina 6-4, 6-2; seventh-seeded Ksenia Pervak of Russia outlasted Thailand's Noppawan Lertcheewakarn 3-6, 6-1, 7-5; and Elena Bovina needed six match points and 2 hours, 38 minutes to edge Kazakh Zarina Diyas 6-0, 3-6, 7-5.