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Favorites Tough It Out, First Round Wraps Up

Elena Vesnina and the other Top 3 seeds had to fight hard to win at the inaugural Baku Cup.

Published July 19, 2011 12:00

Favorites Tough It Out, First Round Wraps Up
Elena Vesnina

BAKU, Azerbaijan - The opening round wrapped up at the inaugural Baku Cup on Tuesday and although it was a struggle, Top 2 seeds Vera Zvonareva and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova both got past inspired underdog opponents.

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Pavlyuchenkova was the first to advance but had to overcome both her opponent and herself to make the cut, hitting a surprising 25 double faults but keeping her groundstrokes in check to record a scratchy 75 64 victory over Russian qualifier Valeria Solovieva. Pavlyuchenkova was treated for heat illness in the second set, receiving several minutes of ice treatment before continuing.

Zvonareva followed Pavlyuchenkova into the second round with a see-saw victory in the last match of the evening session, racing through the first set but then battling back from 5-3 down in the second set - even facing a set point in that game - to close out Uzbek wildcard Nigina Abduraimova under the lights, 61 75.

No.3 seed Elena Vesnina, No.4 seed Ekaterina Makarova, No.5 seed Monica Niculescu and No.7 seed Ksenia Pervak all won too, although for some it wasn't so smooth. Vesnina rallied from 2-0 down in the third set to beat qualifier Yana Buchina, 62 36 75, while Pervak dug out of an even bigger hole, coming back from 4-1 down in the third to beat Noppawan Lertcheewakarn, 36 61 75, ending very strong - she won the last 16 points of the match.

No.8 seed Evgeniya Rodina was the only seeded casualty on Day 2, falling to Georgia's Anna Tatishvili quietly in straight sets, 64 62.

Kateryna Bondarenko, Anastasiya Yakimova, Aravane Rezai, Kristina Kucova, Elena Bovina and Tatia Mikadze also got first round wins.

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