Dushevina Into QFs, Schiavone Denied

Vera Dushevina won an all-Russian encounter while Kaia Kanepi edged Francesca Schiavone.

Published October 19, 2011 12:00

Dushevina Into QFs, Schiavone Denied
Vera Dushevina

MOSCOW, Russia - In the most dramatic match of the Kremlin Cup so far, Kaia Kanepi bounced No.4 seed and former champion Francesca Schiavone on Wednesday to move into the quarterfinals of the Premier event, 64 57 76(7).

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Kanepi, a former Top 20 player who has been showing flashes of her former brilliance during the fall season, rallied from 1-5 in the third set tie-break and needed three match points to seal the two-hour, 43-minute victory.

"I saw the score in the tie-break but I realized I had been down before, so I just kept fighting and wanted to see what would happen," Kanepi said. "I think we both had our ups and downs but we were both fighting to win this match."

"It was a tough match and I couldn't play my best," said Schiavone, who had won four of her previous five meetings with Kanepi. "It's the end of the year so maybe it's time to recharge my batteries, and then come back next year."

Kanepi said she feels good playing in Moscow. "It's my first year here and it feels very close to home. I'm from Estonia so usually I have to travel far for tournaments but this one was only an hour and a half, an hour and 20 minutes. I like the surface and I like indoors, so I'm feeling pretty good this week."

The tournament's No.1 seed, Vera Zvonareva, had no trouble whatsoever in her match earlier on, losing just 10 points in seven service games and blowing by Serbian teenager Bojana Jovanovski in exactly an hour, 61 61.

"It's never easy to play the first match of a tournament, but I think I played a very clean match," Zvonareva said. "It's a great atmosphere here. It's rare I get a chance to play in front of my Russian fans, so it's exciting. I signed a lot of autographs afterwards - it was great to see all those kids, because I remember being a kid myself and chasing Yevgeny Kafelnikov to get his autograph!"

The only other quarterfinal spot up for grabs in the day session went to Vera Dushevina, who fought off a set point at 3-5 in the second set and prevailed in an all-Russian encounter with Nadia Petrova, 62 76(3). "Nadia had a chance on her serve in the second set but I just kept playing aggressive each ball," Dushevina said. "Maybe my serve wasn't very good today but I was hitting a lot of winners, and I'm happy with how I was playing from the baseline."

At night, No.2 seed Agnieszka Radwanska faced Lucie Safarova. With a victory, Radwanska would snap up the last spot in the year-ender in Istanbul.

The last two first round matches of the week took place on Wednesday as well, with No.8 seed Dominika Cibulkova and Russia's Elena Vesnina prevailing.

The Top 4 seeds in the doubles draw were all in action and all won, including No.1 seeds Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik and No.2 seeds Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova, two of the four teams also going to Istanbul.

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