Zina Garrison Jackson and Irina Spirlea made it clear that they intend to take advantage of Monica Seles' withdrawal from the Bank of the West Classic in Oakland, California, with first-round victories yesterday.
Seles, the joint world No 1, pulled out with tendinitis in her left knee. "I came here early to practice, hoping that a few days would get my knee used to this surface. Unfortunately, it made the problem worse, so I must withdraw," she said.
Garrison served and volleyed her way to a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 victory over Venezuela's Maria Vento. The 31-year-old American will now be spared the expected second-round thrashing by Seles and will instead face her doubles partner, Katrina Adams.
Spirlea, who had been scheduled to face Seles in the quarter-finals, beat Japan's Kyoko Nagatsuka 6-2, 6-3. The 21-year-old Romanian world No 22 will now meet another Japanese player, Ai Sugiyama, in the next round. Elsewhere, Pam Shriver, 33, crushed Japan's Yone Kamio 6-2, 6-1.