MONTREAL – Sabine Lisicki upset 13th-seeded Sara Errani 6-1, 7-5 in the first round of the Rogers Cup on Monday.
Errani, the 2012 French Open runnerup, is most comfortable on clay, while the 29th-ranked Lisicki likes the faster surfaces. Lisicki, the 2013 Wimbledon runnerup, hit the fastest recorded serve in WTA history (211 kph) last week at Stanford.
Errani was serving for the second set at 5-3 but let the lead slip away. Lisicki next plays Svetlana Kuznetsova or Madison Keys in the $2.44 million U.S. Open tuneup.
American Sloane Stephens used an accurate serve and steady pressure to eliminate Canada’s Aleksandra Wozniak, 6-3, 6-0.
Stephens, ranked 22nd in the world, was never in trouble against the 26-year-old Wozniak, who is trying to battle back to her career-high No. 21 ranking after years of arm and shoulder trouble.
“She really played well,” Wozniak said. “She served at a high percentage, 75 percent, and it was tough to return.
“It wasn’t easy, for sure. You have a warrior mentality, you want to fight for every point, but she played great tennis. I didn’t expect that. She played a perfect match.”
Dominika Cibulkova advanced with a hard-fought 6-1, 3-6, 6-0 victory over 17-year-old crowd favorite Francoise Abanda. The Slovak righted herself in the third set and sealed the victory with an ace.
The 10th-seeded Cibulkova takes on Britain’s Heather Watson in the next round. Watson edged Tereza Smitkova 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 in a battle of qualifiers.
American qualifier Shelby Rogers downed Ajla Tomljanovic 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) to set up a second-round meeting with the star attraction of this year’s event, fifth-seeded Eugenie Bouchard of Canada.
“I think it will be fun,” said Rogers, who beat Bouchard in three sets in a lower-level tournament in 2011 in Troy, Alabama. “Obviously the crowd is going to be for her, and I’m the underdog. I think it’s kind of a fun story.
“There’s no pressure. I’m just going to go out, play my game, do my best and try to enjoy the moment as much as I can.”
Bouchard, who reached the Wimbledon final last month, is drawn to face defending champion Serena Williams in the Montreal quarterfinals.
The world No. 1 said 20-year-old Bouchard will be a stiff test, if it happens.
“I think she has a really good chance,” Williams said. “She’s had a stellar year, to be honest.
“She’s done better than me in a lot of the tournaments. Yeah, I think it will be a really good match up. I hope I can get there. I feel like she’ll be there regardless.”
Williams, coming off a win Sunday at Stanford, has won the Rogers Cup three times when it was held in Toronto, but has not played in Montreal since 2000, when she was forced to retire from the third set of the final with an injury.