Carlsbad - Varvara Lepchenko cruised to a 6-3, 6-1 win over fellow American Nicole Gibbs in the first round of the Mercury Insurance Open on Monday.

Uzbekistan-born Lepchenko, a naturalised US citizen and member of the US Olympic team, used a variety of shots including numerous drop shots for winners as she advanced to the second round.

No. 6 seeded Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia, who received a wild card into the event, will face Poland's Ursula Radwanska in the featured night match. - Sapa-AP