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Petrova Cruises on Day 1

Nadia Petrova took less than an hour to win her opening match at the Kremlin Cup on Monday.

Published October 19, 2009 12:00

MOSCOW, Russia - One of Russia's best made a strong start to her home tournament in Moscow on Monday, as Nadia Petrova cruised through her first round at the Kremlin Cup in 48 minutes.  Moscow: Monday Highlights

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Petrova, a former finalist at this event and the No.5 seed this year, allowed wildcard Yana Buchina two holds of serve in the first set but apart from that was always in control, particularly in the 17-minute second set, in which she lost only five points. She won, 62 60.  Highlights: Petrova vs. Buchina

"The first match of a tournament is always tough and I was playing an opponent I did not know well. She is young so you never know what to expect," Petrova said. "I felt a little bit rusty in the beginning but then I started to play my game. I have a lot to work on, but am happy to be on to the next round."

Having finished 2008 ranked No.11, Petrova comes into this week after an average season ranked No.17. But she comes in off a strong showing in her last event, beating Serena Williams en route to the semifinals of Beijing. It was her second semi of the year, following a final four in April at Ponte Vedra Beach.

Next for Petrova will be Alona Bondarenko, who beat Anna Chakvetadze, 64 63. Chakvetadze beat Petrova in the 2006 final here, but was edged by the feisty Bondarenko on Monday.  Highlights: A.Bondarenko vs. Chakvetadze

"I've played Alona many times and they were all tough matches," said Petrova, who is 2-1 against the Ukrainian, the loss coming in their most recent meeting, at Cincinnati this summer. "I'll need to be proactive and dictate play."

Later in the day, Dominika Cibulkova made her return from a right rib injury that had sidelined her since before the US Open. Seeded No.7 here, she took on María José Martínez Sánchez, but it wasn't much of a happy return, as she lost handily in straight sets to the Spanish lefty, 62 62.

Other first round winners were Lucie Safarova and Olga Govortsova.

Galina Voskoboeva, Nuria Llagostera Vives, Tsvetana Pironkova and Evgeniya Rodina secured berths in the main draw with qualifying wins.

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