Out Of The Running
Published October 21, 2009 12:00
MOSCOW, Russia - The overall scenario for next week's Sony Ericsson Championships - Doha 2009 became clearer in Moscow on Wednesday, as Agnieszka Radwanska and Flavia Pennetta both lost first round matches at the $1,000,000 Kremlin Cup. Moscow: Wednesday Highlights
Radwanska, the No.3 seed at the Premier event, was broken early in both sets of a 63 63 loss to Maria Kirilenko, her second straight loss to the Russian, following a US Open loss. Highlights: Kirilenko vs. A.Radwanska
"I was feeling a bit tired and exhausted. I was trying hard because I was still in with a chance of qualifying for Doha, but it wasn't my day today," Radwanska said. "Maria didn't make any mistakes today. I really want to play against her fully fit - I was a little bit injured before the US Open and now I played 14 matches coming into this match, so I think I need a third match against her!"
"I've played Agnieszka three times - the first time I lost and now I've won twice," Kirilenko said. "She doesn't play too aggressively so I can attack. Maybe that's why I've done well against her lately. I've also made fewer unforced errors against her - if you make a lot of mistakes against her, you'll lose easily."
By virtue of the loss, Radwanska is out of contention for the eighth and final spot in the singles field in Doha next week. She is, however, going to be an alternate at the season-ending event. Vera Zvonareva and Jelena Jankovic will now battle it out for that last berth, and whoever comes up short in that battle will be an alternate alongside Radwanska. For more on the race, click here.
Pennetta, seeded No.4, followed Radwanska to the sidelines, winning the first set against Agnes Szavay but falling behind in the second set before retiring, 46 30, due to left knee injury. Highlights: Szavay vs. Pennetta
"I feel sorry Flavia had to retire," Szavay said. "I guessed she was hurt, that's why she called the trainer, but I was just concentrating on my own game. It's too bad, but now I have to focus on my next match."
Pennetta had a shot at being an alternate in Doha next week, but her loss here takes her out of the running for that position.
In the other remaining first round matches, Evgeniya Rodina upset No.6 seed Elena Vesnina, 61 36 62, and No.8 seed Francesca Schiavone outlasted Nuria Llagostera Vives, 67(2) 64 63. The first two second round matches of the week were also played. Olga Govortsova beat María José Martínez Sánchez in the first one, 61 64; at night, No.5 seed Nadia Petrova took on Alona Bondarenko but lost to the Ukrainian in straight sets, 76(3) 63.