Kirilenko & Cirstea Triumph In Thailand

Maria Kirilenko and Sorana Cirstea were among those winning their openers on a rainy Tuesday at the PTT Pattaya Open.

Published January 29, 2013 05:39

Kirilenko & Cirstea Triumph In Thailand
Maria Kirilenko

PATTAYA CITY, Thailand - All the seeds who finished their matches before rain suspended play on Tuesday at the PTT Pattaya Open were victorious, including second-seeded Maria Kirilenko and fourth-seeded Sorana Cirstea.

Last year's runner-up, Kirilenko was a 63 75 winner over qualifier Akgul Amanmuradova. Down 3-2 in the first set, the Russian reeled off eight straight games to seize control.

"The first match is always difficult, especially with these humid conditions," Kirilenko said. "But I'm happy with my game."

Kirilenko, who turned 26 last week, first played here as a 15-year-old in 2002.

"I just like this tournament, this place," Kirilenko said. "I think it's one of the best smaller tournaments.

"I like that it's at a resort, with the courts and the hotel at the same place. It's really comfortable for the players. We can walk to our matches."

Cirstea has posted some of her best results in Asia, with her lone title coming in Tashkent in 2008 and three of her semifinal showings coming in Bali in 2007, Pattaya City in 2012 and Guangzhou in 2012.

Cirstea looked primed for another deep run at an Asian event with a 61 63 first round defeat of qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands, whom she is now 3-0 against. The Romanian next plays another qualifier, Anastasia Rodionova, who kicked off her 11th appearance here with a 64 64 triumph over Vania King.

Other seeds advancing were fifth-seeded Sabine Lisicki and eighth-seeded Heather Watson, who made her Top 40 debut this week.

Kimiko Date-Krumm continued the form she showed off at the Australian Open, where she became the oldest player ever to win a match at the tournament en route to the third round. She beat Chanelle Scheepers, 75 61, to improve her record to 22-5 in her last 27 qualifying and main draw matches at ITF, WTA $125 and WTA events.

Next up for Date-Krumm is the winner of the match between No.1 seed Ana Ivanovic and Ayumi Morita, which was suspended by rain with the players on serve in the third set. In addition to the completion of that match, Wednesday's schedule also includes the opener for two-time defending champion Daniela Hantuchova.

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