Alexandra Cadantu of Romania defeated defending champion Alberta Brianti of Italy 5-7, 7-5, 6-1 Monday in the first round of the Grand Prix SAR.
Brianti, who captured her first WTA title last year, was broken 11 times and won only 48 percent of points on first serve.
Top-seeded Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain beat Nina Bratchikova of Russia 6-2, 6-4. The 2009 champion has won 10 of her 11 career titles on clay.
Sixth-seeded Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa also advanced, beating Australia's Anastasia Rodionova 6-4, 6-4. Also winning were Mandy Minella of Luxembourg and Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania.