Italy’s Schiavone upsets Petrova in Kremlin Cup
MOSCOW: The tough Russian women’s field suffered its first loss early Wednesday when Italy’s Francesca Schiavone came back from a set down to upset eighth-seeded Nadia Petrova 0-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the second round of the US$2.3 million Kremlin Cup.
Petrova, No. 13 on the WTA Tour rankings, was the first seed to fall in the tournament after top-seeded Amelie Mauresmo withdrew because of a thigh injury. Petrova looked to have an easy pass to the quarterfinals when she won the first set at love after the Italian called for a trainer in the fifth game to massage. But Schiavone, world No. 22, was not set to give up and two early breaks were enough for her to take the second set. She then jumped to a 5-1 lead in the third set, but Petrova charged back, winning three consecutive games to narrow the margin to 5-4. “In the second set, she (Schiavone) began to play much tougher, running down the baseline for every ball and managed incredible returns,” said Petrova.
It looked like the Russian was close to being back in the match in the tenth game, but the Italian played strong, forcing Petrova into long rallies. The tactic proved effective and Schiavone capitalized on Petrova’s unforced mistakes to go up 40-love. Petrova saved one match point before sealing a forehand return long to loose the set and the match. In the men’s first-round action, seventh-seeded Italian Filippo Volandri overcame a one-set deficit to defeat Robin Soderling of Sweden 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (6). ap