The biggest names at the WTA Istanbul Cup have been dropping like flies. Top seed Venus Williams drew a difficult first-round match against qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko (+475), who won in straight sets on Tuesday to leave the tournament up for grabs. It was the first victory for Bondarenko over a Top-20 ranked player since she re-joined the WTA Tour last year.
Williams was the 3/1 favorite going into Tuesday's action, followed closely by former World's No. 1 Jelena Jankovic at 4/1. But Jankovic also lost her first-round match to Urszula Radwanska (+290). That left a peloton of five players who were each priced at 12/1. Two of those women faced each other, with Camila Giorgi downing Dominika Cibulkova (EVEN) in a close contest.
Alize Cornet and Tsvetana Pironkova did manage to advance to the second round. Roberta Vinci was the other member of that fivesome at 12/1; she defeated Alexandra Panova (+240) on Wednesday. Cornet is the highest seed remaining in this tournament at No. 4. The French native is currently ranked No. 28 in the world, but was as high as No. 11 back in 2009, and recently made it to the fourth round at the French Open.