Sveta Survives Opener

Svetlana Kuznetsova rallied from a break down in the third set to beat Zheng Jie.

Published August 24, 2009 11:59

Sveta Survives Opener
Svetlana Kuznetsova

NEW HAVEN, CT, USA - Top seed Svetlana Kuznetsova barely escaped the jaws of defeat at the Pilot Pen Tennis presented by Schick on Monday, squandering a second set lead then rallying from a break down in the third to beat giant-killer Zheng Jie in a nail-biter, 61 67(5) 64.

Kuznetsova, ranked No.6 in the world and a wildcard into the draw as a late entry, was seemingly headed for a routine straight set win after building a 61 42 lead, but Zheng - who has five Top 10 wins to her name, including two over reigning world No.1s - clawed her way back into it, snatching the second set in a tie-break and building a 3-1 lead in the third. But Kuznetsova hung tough.

The other seeds in action both won too, albeit in much different fashion. No.8 seed Amélie Mauresmo recovered from an early break but wound up easing past Ai Sugiyama, 64 61, while No.5 seed Agnieszka Radwanska rallied from a break down in the third to beat Roberta Vinci, 26 62 76(5).

Other winners were Virginie Razzano, Elena Vesnina, Iveta Benesova, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and qualifiers Magdalena Rybarikova and Yanina Wickmayer. Wickmayer stopped Alisa Kleybanova, 36 61 64, days after the Russian made a scintillating run to the semifinals in Toronto.

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