Tashkent, Uzbekistan (Sports Network) - Defending champion Irina-Camelia Begu was among the first-round winners Monday at the Tashkent Open.
The sixth-seeded Romanian posted a 7-6 (10-8), 6-1 win over Russian qualifier Alexandra Panova on the hard courts at the Olympic Tennis School. Begu beat Croatia's Donna Vekic in last year's final to capture her maiden singles title.
Top-seeded qualifier Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia bested Japan's Kurumi Nara, 6-4, 6-3, while Italian Nastassja Burnett knocked off second-seeded Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4.
Austrian Yvonne Meusburger, the No. 3 seed, dodged an upset by rallying for a 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 victory over Hungary's Timea Babos.
Other seeded winners were Vekic and Romanian Alexandra Cadantu. The fourth- seeded Vekic handled Ukrainian qualifier Lyudmyla Kichenok, 6-3, 6-2, while the fifth-seeded Cadantu advanced with a 6-2, 6-0 rout of wild card and Uzbekistan native Sabina Sharipova.
Belarusian Olga Govortsova, Luxembourg's Mandy Minella, Japanese qualifier Risa Ozaki and Ukrainian Nadiya Kichenok also reached the second round.