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Tennis | WTA

Rain interrupts first round in Malaysia



Montenegro's Danka Kovinic beat Belgium's An-Sophie Mestach in two sets on Monday before heavy rain caused the rest of the first round of the BMW Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur to be called off.

All other first-round matches scheduled for Monday will be played on Tuesday, including that of Czech third seed Karolina Pliskova, who won the tournament last year, marking her first and only WTA singles title so far.

She will play against Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia.

In the only completed match Monday, Kovinic, who ranks 140th in the world, easily defeated Mestach 6-4, 6-2 in Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur. Mestach ranks 127.

Later in the day, Japan's eight-seeded Ayumi Morita had just begun her match against Lyudmyla Kichenok of the Ukraine, leading 1-0 in the first set when rain interrupted the game.

The fourth singles match to be called off in the tropical Southeast Asian country, which often experiences heavy afternoon downpours, pitted Ons Jabeur of Tunsia against Italy's Giulia Gatto-Monticone.

Former world number one Venus Williams of the US was expected to play in the tournament but has pulled out, reportedly due to a throat infection.

First-seeded Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia, who ranks 10th, will not play until later in the week.

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