Elena Triumphs In Tashkent

Elena Vesnina put her recent struggles behind her with a routine win in the first round of the Tashkent Open on Monday.

Published September 20, 2010 12:00

Elena Triumphs In Tashkent
Elena Vesnina

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan - The only seed in first round action at the $220,000 Tashkent Open advanced with ease, as No.4 seed Elena Vesnina topped Lesya Tsurenko, 63 62.

Vesnina, who matched her career-best Sony Ericsson WTA Tour result when she reached the final in Istanbul last month, has since fallen on hard times, having lost three straight main draw matches entering this event. However, on Monday, she looked more like the player who reached her career-high ranking of No.22 last October, breaking at 3-3 in the first set and cruising from there.

"It is always tough to play the opening match in any tournament. This one was no different," Vesnina said. "Moreover, I must add that I had a crazy flight to Tashkent, where a normal two-and-a-half-hour flight from Moscow turned out to be a six-hour flight. It seemed as if I came via New York! I felt tired but have recovered now. So it's good to go on court and get into a rhythm."

Vesnina explained her descent in the rankings to No.72, the lowest she's been since February.

"Throughout the year I've had a few nagging injuries," she said. "The injuries got worse and kept me out for nearly two months. I would not say I am injury free because I do have injuries that have stayed with me. I have not managed to defend points as well, and I've been unlucky with the draw in many tournaments. I missed making a lot of main draws and had to play qualifying, which is very tough for someone not used to doing that for a long time."

Also victorious were two other Russians, Ekaterina Ivanova and Evgeniya Rodina, and a Swiss, Stefanie Voegele. Ivanova and Rodina both saw 5-2 first set leads evaporate, but both prevailed, Ivanova beating Katie O'Brien, 75 61, and Rodina getting past countrywoman Arina Rodionova, 76(3) 63, for her first main draw win on Tour since Charleston in April. Voegele disposed of Alina Abdurakhimova, 63 61, to snap a five match losing streak.

The other seeds all play their first round matches Tuesday, including top-seeded Alexandra Dulgheru and second-seeded Akgul Amanmuradova, last year's runner-up. Dulgheru kicked off doubles play Monday with a victory alongside Magdalena Rybarikova.

Also Monday, Yuliana Fedak, Eirini Georgatou, Zarina Diyas and Nadejda Guskova won singles qualifying matches to reach the main draw.

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