sport

Cibulkova upset by Giorgi

The crowd at the Foro Italico were treated to a hometown victory as Camila Giorgi upset ninth seed Dominika Cibulkova 6-4 7-6 (7-2) in the first round of the Rome Open.

The 22-year-old Giorgi, who reached the round of 16 at the US Open last year as a qualifier, showed off her attacking game, stepping into the court to whip winners into the corners at every opportunity.

Making her Rome main-draw debut, 54th-ranked Giorgi had loud support on the picturesque Pietrangeli court, which is lined with neo-classical statues, to see off the Australian Open finalist.

"The pressure is positive. It's great that the fans come to see you," the Macerata-born Giorgi said. "Playing at home happens only once per year."

There was also a couple of major upsets in the second round as China's Zhang Shuai came through 7-6 (6) 5-7 6-3 against fifth-seeded former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and Petra Cetkovska of the Czech Republic rallied past seventh seed Angelique Kerber 4-6 6-3 6-4.

Also, second seed Li Na came through against qualifier Casey Dellacqua 6-1 6-4 while tenth-seeded Sara Errani defeated South African Chanelle Scheepers 7-5 6-3 and 13th seed Carla Suarez Navarro made light work of German Mona Barthel 6-2 6-2.

Serena Williams, who has been suffering from an injured left thigh, is due to begin her title defence on Wednesday against Romina Oprandi or Andrea Petkovic.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion and top seed is still to announce whether she will be fit to play.