Serena Williams, Sharapova, Nadal and Federer Win Opening Matches in Cincinnati

Monica FritschCorrespondent IAugust 16, 2011

Serena Williams in her first match athte 2011 Western and Southern Open.
Serena Williams in her first match athte 2011 Western and Southern Open.Elsa/Getty Images

It was a packed day at the 2011 Western and Southern Open. On center court, five Grand Slam singles champions played.

Reigning French Open champion and No. 5 seed Li Na defeated Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic in straight sets. Serena Williams also won in straight sets, defeating Lucie Hradecka.

Maria Sharapova started her campaign to at least defend her finalist points from 2010. In the night session, she took on Anastasia Rodionova, defeating the Austrian 6-1, 6-3. Then Roger Federer defeated Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 7-5. On the doubles courts, Rafael Nadal and Marc Lopez defeated Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki in a tight battle 7-6 (4), 6-7 (2), 10-5. No. 5 seeds in women’s doubles, Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond defeated Monica Niculescu and Shahar Peer 6-1, 6-3.

The first match on center court, Wednesday, will feature 2003 and 2010 men’s singles finalist, American Mardy Fish and Nikolay Davydenko of Russia. First up on Grandstand will be world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki and American Christina McHale. Rafael Nadal will make his first singles appearance of 2011 as he takes on Julien Benneteau. Serena Williams will return to center court as she takes on Australian veteran, Samantha Stosur.

During the night session, the roles will be reversed. First, No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic will play against American wild card, Ryan Harrison. Then Victoria Azarenka plays against Shahar Peer. If you love doubles, check out Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez as they play Alexandr Dogopolov and doubles specialist, Lukas Dlouhy, on court four.

The “Fashion Loves Tennis” event presented by Saks Fifth Avenue and Lafayette 148 will be Wednesday. It will feature a fashion show as well as food and appetizers, under the Grandstand tent. Then participants can enjoy a full night of tennis. This is often a sold out event.