Pierce wins easily in Acura Classic
7/25/04 11:27 PM
CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) _ Mary Pierce played solidly en route to a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Claudine Schaul in the first round of the Acura Classic on Sunday.
Pierce, the former French Open champion, had little trouble in winning the matchup of unseeded players.
``I was very happy winning my first match,'' she said. ``Those are always the toughest, in terms of getting into it and getting accustomed to the environment.''
Pierce may not have much time to get accustomed to the surroundings of the La Costa Resort & Spa. She is scheduled to play the winner of the Venus Williams-Gisela Dulko match, if Williams is still playing.
There was no word on Williams' status to play here after she sprained her right wrist Saturday, forcing her to withdraw from a semifinal match against Lindsay Davenport in the WTA event at Carson.
Williams was advised by a WTA doctor Saturday to rest the wrist and have it re-evaluated Monday.
Acura tournament spokesman Harvey Bolgla said that Williams' first match would have to be played no later than Tuesday. Williams, who finished last season ranked out of the top 10 because she didn't play on the WTA Tour from last July to January with an abdominal muscle injury, loses her injury-protected ranking beginning Monday and is seeded 11th here.
Only two seeded players saw action, including No. 16 seed Silvia Farina Elia of Italy, who was upset by Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-4. Ninth-seeded Paola Suarez of Argentina was a 6-1, 6-3 winner over Hungary's Aniko Kapros.
Pierce said it didn't matter whether she played Williams.
``I don't put any expectations on myself,'' she said. ``I would love to win this tournament. I still feel that I'm not exactly where I need to be to be giving myself the chance to beat the top girls and competing against them.''