Schiavone, Lepchenko Qualify for Main Draw

© 2016 Billie Weiss/Connecticut Open

WTA Tour mainstays Francesca Schiavone and Vavara Lepchenko led the crop of qualifiers​ into the BNP Paribas Open main draw with a final round win on Tuesday.

Several veteran performers — including a former Roland Garros champ — were among those who earned women’s main-draw qualification on Tuesday at the BNP Paribas Open. 

Italy’s Francesca Schiavone, who rose to a career-high No. 4 in 2010, the same year she triumphed on the red clay of Paris, recovered from a slow start to post a 1-6, 6-0, 6-0 turnaround win over Ukrainian Elitsa Kostova. For her efforts, the 36-year-old will face young American ​Louisa Chirico in the opening round, a​ New York teen who was born the year Schiavone got her first ranking points back in 1996.

The Italian has never ventured beyond the fourth round in Indian Wells, having made her desert debut in 2001.

Also advancing through the qualifying rounds was 29-year-old American Varvara Lepchenko, who defeated Czech Lucie Hradecka 6-0, 6-3. She’ll face Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova​ in the first round​.

No. 49-ranked Shuai Peng of China, a US Open semifinalist in 2014, earned a main-draw matchup with Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko after downing American Jamie Loeb 6-1, 6-3.

Fresh off an impressive fourth-round showing at the Australian Open, where the German stunned Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig in the second round, 95th-ranked Mona Barthel defeated Evgeniya Rodina 6-4, 6-4. Barthel moves on to meet Czech Katerina Siniakova.

Also into the main draw are: Anett Kontaveit (def. Sesil Karatantcheva 6-1, 6-1), Tatjana Maria (def. Sachia Vickery 6-2, 6-2), Mandy Minella (def. Tereza Martincova 4-6, 6-4, 6-3), Sara Sorribes Tormo (def. Jacqueline Cako 6-2, 6-0), Mariana Duque-Marino (def. Maria Sakkari 7-6(4), 6-3), Risa Ozaki  (def. Samantha Crawford 1-6, 6-3, 7-6(5)), Magda Linette (def. Nao Hibino 6-1, 7-6(9)), and Patricia Maria Tig (def. Julia Boserup 7-5, 6-0). 

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