sport

Schiavone off the mark

Former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone has finally won her first match of the season.

The Italian, the Roland Garros winner in 2010, had lost in the first round of seven straight tournaments and celebrated exuberantly after her 3-6 6-2 6-2 win over German Mona Barthel at the BNP Paribas Open.

Zheng Jie set up a second-round clash with Australian Open champion and Chinese compatriot Li Na, who is the top seed at a WTA Premier mandatory event for the first time.

Zheng needed nearly three hours to see off Paula Ormaechea 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7/5) and will look to make it five wins from seven matches against Li.

Defending champion Maria Sharapova will open her campaign against Germany's Julia Goerges, a 6-1 2-6 6-3 winner over Jana Cepelova.

Seventeen-year-old Taylor Townsend was one of two American victors, beating Karin Knapp 7-6 (7/1) 6-1 for her first win at WTA Tour level since Indian Wells last year.

Wild card Coco Vandeweghe defeated a tearful Alexandra Cadantu 6-4 6-0 but 18-year-old Victoria Duval was edged out in a tight three-setter against Alisa Kleybanova while Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Vania King also lost.

The highest-profile woman in action was Martina Hingis, who teamed up with Germany's Sabine Lisicki for her first match since the US Open.

The five-time grand slam singles champion made a comeback in doubles last season, playing in five tournaments with Daniela Hantuchova and winning three matches.

She is currently coaching Lisicki but the pair were not a winning team on the court, beaten 6-4 6-7 (0/7) 10-6 by Australians Casey Dellacqua and Ashleigh Barty.

Hingis said: "Definitely it was a great match against a team who just recently played three grand slam finals.

"I didn't play in six months so I was almost a little bit surprised that I can play with a doubles team that is so teamed up.

"With Sabine it was just a lot of fun. She asked me last week if I would like to play. We already talked about it last year after Wimbledon that it would be cool to play doubles but now it became reality and it was really nice."