Wozniacki advances in Charleston amid rash of retirements

CHARLESTON: Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki, coming off a triumph at Ponte Vedra Beach on Sunday, held off Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, 6-4, 6-1, in her Family Circle Cup opener.

Wozniacki was down a break and trailing 3-4 in the opening set, but broke back to level the frame.

The world number two from Denmark then held serve in a game that went to deuce three times, and broke again to pocket the set.

"She got a lot of balls back, and I just needed to find my game and find a way how to beat her, and once I did that, I won a lot of points and I won the games," Wozniacki said.

Wozniacki next plays 16th-seeded Patty Schnyder of Switzerland, a 6-3, 6-1 winner over Michelle Larcher De Brito of Portugal.

Three players retired from their second-round matches on Wednesday, including fifth-seeded Marion Bartoli of France.

Bartoli had taken the first set from China''s Peng Shuai, but called it quits because of illness with Peng leading 2-6, 7-6 (7/2), 4-3.

Bartoli was pale and holding her stomach and head during a changeover about 2 hours, 20 minutes into the match.

Tour spokeswoman Mary Jane Orman said Bartoli felt fine entering the match but suffered stomach pains and dizziness as it progressed.

Third-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus and Ayumi Morita of Japan also retired. Azarenka, the world No. 9, retired with a pulled left hamstring while leading qualifier Christina McHale 6-2, 2-2.

Morita retired with a thigh strain while trailing Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia 6-4, 2-0.

Azarenka, who had ice taped around her leg, said she was injured last week in Marbella.

"It''s not that bad, but I hoped that it''s probably got better, you know, and healed," she said. "It obviously didn''t today, but you know, I just need to keep rehabbing it."

Sixth-seeded Nadia Petrova of Russia advanced, defeating American Vania King 6-2, 6-1, while 10th-seeded Elena Vesnina of Russia advanced with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden.