Tennis: French pair Mladenovic and Cornet exit China Open

French interest in the China Open women's title ended on the opening day of the tournament Saturday, with both Kristina Mladenovic and Alize Cornet crashing out in the first round.

Mladenovic fought back from a set down to come within reach of forcing 12th seed Carla Suarez Navarro to a third set tie-break, but the Spaniard eventually claimed victory 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

Suarez Navarro will face German Mona Barthel in the second round of the dual ATP and WTA event, which is being played at Beijing's Olympic Park.

Cornet retired injured in the first set of her match with Francesca Schiavone, with the score 3-2 in the Italian's favour.

Schiavone potentially faces a tough task in the second round, facing either Russia's Elena Vesnina or the top seed, American Serena Williams.

Meanwhile, American Sloane Stephens cruised through to the second round, claiming victory over Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak 6-4, 6-4.

The 12th seed and US number two will face Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova in her next game.

Elsewhere, tenth seed Roberta Vinci beat Elina Svitolina 6-2, 6-2 to book her place in the second round.

The Italian's victory earned her a tie against either Zhang Shuai or her Chinese compatriot Peng Shuai.

The China Open began on Saturday and will reach its climax on October 6. Eight of the top ten women's players are in the draw.

The men's competition is at the qualification stage.