MOSCOW -- Russian favorite Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was among Monday's opening-round losers at the $1 million Kremlin Cup tennis event.
The fourth-seeded Pavlyuchenkova was ousted by diminutive Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova 7-6 (7-5), 2-6, 6-0 on the indoor hardcourts at Olympic Stadium.
Eighth-seeded Spaniard Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez avoided an upset by holding off Russia's Alla Kudryavtseva 6-1, 5-7, 6-1 on Day 1. The wild card Kudryavtseva has now dropped her last three matches since corralling her first career WTA Tour title in Tashkent last month.
Additional first-round wins came for Ukrainian sisters Alona and Kateryna Bondarenko. Alona topped Russian wild card Daria Gavrilova 7-5, 6-1, while Kateryna edged out Czech Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-7 (7-9), 6-1.
The top seeds here are former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia and Belarusian Victoria Azarenka. Reigning French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, who is not defending her title here this year, beat Belarus' Olga Govortsova in last year's Kremlin Cup finale.
This week's winner will collect $157,427.