Wednesday October 17, 2012
Defending champ Dominika rallies to advance in Kremlin Cup
MOSCOW: Defending champion Dominika Cibulkova advanced to the second round of the Kremlin Cup, rallying to beat Ekaterina Makarova of Russia 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 yesterday.
The fifth-seeded Slovakian, who won her second career title in the United States in July, struggled in the first set, losing four consecutive games. But she broke Makarova in the 10th game of the second set to stay in the match and soon jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the third set.
“The surface is very much different from the one here last year, and it’s not the best surface I would say,” Cibulkova said.
“Last year it was much softer and it was like a gum. But now it’s very slow and very rough. It was not easy to get into the rhythm, that’s why I had so many mishits in the first set.”
In the second round, Cibulkova will face Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria, who beat Varvara Lepchenko of the United States 6-0, 7-6 (3).
Also, Vesna Dolonc of Serbia made it into the final 16, rallying to eliminate Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan 1-6, 6-1, 6-4.
On Monday Czech eighth seed Lucie Safarova advanced past Russia’s wild card Margarita Gasparyan and into the second round of the Kremlin Cup here on Monday.
On the opening day of the joint WTA and ATP US$1.5mil tournament the left-hander beat the 18-year-old home favourite 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 in two hours two minutes.
Moscow-born Gasparyan started confidently, taking a 3-1 lead with an early break but Safarova than moved up a gear to win five consecutive games for a one-set lead in 38 minutes.
The opponents traded breaks early in the second and held serve until the 10th game when Gasparyan, 227th in the world, broke again to level at one set all after one hour 27 minutes on court.
In the deciding set Safarova, a semi-finalist here last year, was in complete command, breaking her rival’s serve twice before serving out the match at love.
“I met her for the first time and I didn’t know whom I was playing against while she was serving very well and took the lead,” Safarova said.
“But I kept on fighting and won the first set.” — Agencies