Shahar Peer advanced to the second round of the WTA Italian Open yesterday after her rival, Shuai Peng of China, withdrew. Peer won the tiebreak in the first set 7-4 but dropped the second set 6-4. She went up 3-1 when Peng bowed out.

Peer, who dropped to 54 in the world rankings, will next meet world number one Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.

In a matchup of former French Open champions, 13th-seeded Ana Ivanovic beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4, 6-3 yesterday in a windy first-round match at the Italian Open.

"It was tough out there today but it was the same for both of us," said Ivanovic, who won her only major at Roland Garros in 2008. "I just tried to move and to adjust and really tried to look at the ball and move forward. It was difficult at times and the gusts of wind would come out of nowhere, but it was a good match."

Ivanovic is approaching the top 10 again after a difficult stretch in her career that included four first-round losses at Grand Slams.

In men's action, 16th-ranked Fernando Verdasco eased into the second round when Alexandr Dolgopolov retired with a stomach ache. Coming off a win over Rafael Nadal in Madrid last week, Verdasco won the first set 6-0. Dolgopolov then called for the trainer and clutched his stomach as he went over to shake Verdasco's hand and concede.

Also, 13th-seeded Gael Monfils beat Alex Bogomolov Jr. of Russia 6-4, 6-1; and Australian teenager Bernard Tomic rallied past Colombian qualifier Santiago Giraldo 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 to set up a meeting with top-ranked Novak Djokovic tonight.