Bartoli withdraws from Guangzhou

Top seed Marion Bartoli withdrew injured from the WTA Guangzhou tournament during the first set of her opening match.

French number one Bartoli, ranked 10th in the world, was 4-3 down against Taiwan’s Chang Kai-Chen when she retired due to a stomach illness.

Lucky loser Chang will play Taiwan's Su-Wei Hsieh for a place in the quarter-finals.

There was another surprise as sixth seed Monica Niculescu went out at the first hurdle, the Romanian losing 7-5 6-2 to Mathilde Johansson of France.

Johansson will play Zheng Saisai of China after she beat American Julia Cohen 7-6(1) 7-5.

China’s second seed Zheng Jie was a break up in the first set when Taiwan’s Chan Yung-Jan retired injured. Jie, now the top remaining seed, will face Britain's in-form teenager Laura Robson in the second round.

"I practiced with her when I arrived in Guangzhou, that was the first time I played with her," Zheng said of Robson. "She played well in the US Open and won a silver medal in mixed doubles at the Olympics. I think she'll be a future star."

Other seeds to progress were number three Sorana Cirstea – also of Romania – who beat Hu Yueyue of China 6-2 7-5, while fourth-seeded Pole Urszula Radwanska beat Hungary’s Melinda Czink 7-6(1) 6-2.

Cirstea faces China's Yingying Duan after she beat Thailand's Luksika Khumkhum 6-2 6-1, while Radwanska is up against Luxembourg's Mandy Minella.

Eighth seed Alize Cornet of France took the first set 6-3 before Alexandra Panova of Russia retired injured. Cornet plays Belarusian Olga Govortsova after she beat Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan 7-5 6-2.

In matches between unseeded players, Nudnida Luangnam of Thailand surprised Australian Jarmila Gajdosova 6-7(5) 6-4 6-2, while Su-WeiHsieh of Taiwan beat Nina Bratchikova of Russia 7-5 6-3.

Luangnam has to content with Chinese star Shuai Peng next, with Hsieh up against compatriot Chang.