July 9 Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer labored past
Kai-Chen Chang 7-5 2-6 7-5 in the first round of the Stanford
Classic on Monday but all eyes will be on Wimbledon champion
Se r ena Williams who begins her title defense on Wednesday.
Fifth seed Wickmayer, ranked 37 in the world, had to work
really hard to remain on course for her first WTA title of the
year. Her struggle was almost identical to her three-set defeat
against Tamira Paszek of Austria in the third round of Wimbledon
South African Chanelle Scheepers joined her in the second
round after a 6-4 6-4 win over American Grace Min.
For the sixth seed, it was her first victory since she was
bounced from the opening round of Wimbledon.
The hardcourt tournament's main attraction is Williams who
won her 14th singles Grand Slam title in Wimbledon on Saturday.
Williams will open against the winner of 19-year-old U.S.
player Nicole Gibbs and Thailand's Noppawan Lertcheewakarn.
Other opening-round winners at the Stanford Classic included
Michelle Larcher De Brito and Heather Watson.
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; editing by Amlan