Sharapova and Azarenka advance as Mertens ends Bouchard's hopes
Dangerous floaters Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka reached the second round of the Rogers Cup on Tuesday, as Petra Kvitova headlined the seeded players to progress in Montreal.
World number 22 Sharapova dispatched the unheralded Sesil Karatantcheva with ease, while Azarenka was a surprisingly dominant winner against Kristina Mladenovic.
After receiving a bye, Kvitova saw off the challenge of Anett Kontaveit to sail into the third round, but her fellow seeds Jelena Ostapenko and Naomi Osaka were among the tournament's early casualties.
KONTA CONQUERS OSTAPENKO
A week after inflicting the worst defeat of Serena Williams' career at the Silicon Valley Classic, Britain's Johanna Konta knocked out 11th seed Ostapenko.
Konta had to come back from a set down to beat the surprise 2017 French Open winner 6-7 (6-8) 6-1 6-2.
KVITOVA LEADS ADVANCING SEEDS
Eighth seed Petra Kvitova, the 2012 winner of this event, had relatively little trouble accounting for Kontaveit, beating the Estonian 6-3 6-4.
Ashleigh Barty, seeded 15th, needed three sets to get past Irina Camelia Begu, while Julia Goerges (10) and Caroline Garcia (6) had to come from behind to see off Lucie Safarova and Magdalena Rybarikova respectively.
BOUCHARD CAN'T SPRING HOMETOWN SURPRISE
Montreal-born Eugenie Bouchard was unable to deliver a crowd-pleasing home victory in her first-round match.
Belgian Elise Mertens, the 14th seed, saw off the 2014 Wimbledon finalist 6-2 6-4.
SHARAPOVA MAKES UP FOR LOST TIME
Maria Sharapova's opening match was suspended due to rain late on Monday, but that did not disturb the former world number one's rhythm.
As expected, the Russian, a beaten Rogers Cup finalist in 2009, dispatched world number 229 Karatantcheva 6-1 6-2 to progress.
AZARENKA ASSURED AFTER INJURY SCARE
Victoria Azarenka had to withdraw from the quarter-finals in San Jose last week, but the two-time Australian Open winner was back with a bang on Tuesday.
The Belarusian breezed past Kristina Mladenovic of France 6-0 6-1 in just 56 minutes.
Sorana Cirstea, who lost the 2013 Rogers Cup final to Serena Williams, also progressed on Tuesday, but Naomi Osaka, the 16th seed, lost in straight sets to Carla Suarez Navarro.