Amelia Island, Florida:Tenth-seeded Marion Bartoli of France and No 14 Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain were the first upset victims at the Bausch & Lomb Championships on Monday, eliminated by Greece's Eleni Daniilidou and Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia.
Garrigues was beaten 7-6 (4), 6-2 by Cibulkova as the clay-court season got under way with the $600,000 (euro448,900) event, while Bartoli was eliminated 6-0, 6-4 by Daniilidou.
Sybille Bammer of Austria, the No 13 seed, got a 6-3, 6-1 win over Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand.
Other victorious seeds were No 16 Alona Bondarenko of Ukraine, a 6-2, 6-3 winner over Gisela Dulko of Argentina; No 11 Katarina Srebotnik, who won 7-6 (6), 6-1 over American Jill Craybas; and No 15 Zheng Jie of China, who beat Alicia Molik of Australia 6-4, 6-2.
The top eight seeds were given byes into the second round.
Venus all set
The rest of the field gets under way on Tuesday, including unseeded Venus Williams, who says she is physically fit and ready to regain the form that helped her win five grand slam singles titles.
Williams - who will play Aravane Rezai of France - won the event in 2002 when she was ranked No 1, beating Justine Henin in a three-set tiebreaker.
"I feel really good," Williams said. "I had a great tournament in Memphis and a great tournament in Miami (last week) although I would have liked to do better.
"Every tournament is important to me because I don't play as much as the next player so it's important for me to play well each time I play."
After finishing no worse than 11th in the WTA Tour season-ending rankings from 1998 through 2005, Williams finished No 48 a year ago.
A wrist injury has limited her to just one tournament this year - the Regions Morgan Championship at Memphis in February.
Williams won that event, but it was a lower-level event on the WTA Tour's schedule.
"I'm very eager to get my ranking up but realize I have to wait and quite possibly have to play more tournaments," said Williams, who is ranked No 32. "Or I have to stay in there and win the big tournaments like (sister) Serena.
"I just have to be patient ... but I want it tomorrow," she said.