Vika Wins Rome Opener
Published May 02, 2010 12:00
ROME, Italy - She lost to a qualifier in Stuttgart just a few days ago but history wouldn't repeat itself in Rome, as Victoria Azarenka came back from a tricky second set situation to beat Sesil Karatantcheva in the first round of the $2-million Internazionali BNL d'Italia on Sunday evening.
Azarenka, the No.9 seed, blew through the first set but came back from 0-3 in the second set - two breaks - to beat the Kazakh qualifier in 67 minutes, 61 64.
Azarenka made a very strong showing at the Foro Italico last year, reaching the semifinals without losing a set - beating, among others, Caroline Wozniacki along the way - before running into Svetlana Kuznetsova, who would end up winning her second Grand Slam title at the French Open just weeks later.
There were mixed results for the other two seeds in action, with No.14 seed Nadia Petrova beating Tathiana Garbin, 63 62, but No.15 seed Vera Zvonareva falling to Petra Kvitova, 64 60. Zvonareva was coming off a run to the finals at another Premier clay court event, in Charleston.
Other winners were María José Martínez Sánchez, Maria Kirilenko, Andrea Petkovic, Polona Hercog, Alberta Brianti and Italian wildcard Maria Elena Camerin, who beat Zheng Jie in the last match of the day, 64 46 64.
The first round will continue on Monday, with the first second round match of the week also on the schedule, pitting Kuznetsova against Kirilenko.