Kuznetsova, Muller advance
Svetlana Kuznetsova (File)
Moscow - Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia and Gilles Muller of Luxembourg advanced to the second round of the Kremlin Cup with straight-sets victories on Tuesday.
Sixth-seeded Kuznetsova beat French qualifier Alize Cornet 6-3, 6-3, while seventh-seeded Muller hit 19 aces on his way to a 7-6 (5), 6-4 victory over Russian qualifier Konstantin Kravchukin.
The 19th-ranked Kuznetsova controlled Cornet, who she broke twice to lead 4-1 on her way to securing the first set. The two-time Grand Slam winner rallied from 2-0 down in the second set, winning five consecutive games to take it in front of the home crowd.
Muller, ranked 50th, saved two break points in the opening game and prevailed in a first-set tiebreaker before scoring a decisive break in the first game of the second set.
Muller will next play Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany, who ousted Carlos Berlocq of Argentina 7-5, 6-3, in the second round. The German's break in the 11th game was decisive for taking the first set before going on to win in just over 90 minutes.
In women's first round play, Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria advanced after Petra Martic of Croatia retired with a left foot injury after losing the first set 6-1. Ksenia Pervak was another Russian to reach the second round after a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan.
"I beat her (Voskoboeva) three times this season and all the matches were tough," Pervak said. "She is a hard server. But today I played better at key moments and I was a bit lucky."
Pervak next plays third-seeded Marion Bartoli, fresh off a Japan Open win.
"She (Bartoli) is in perfect form now, but I'll try my best to win," Pervak said.
Results from the Kremlin Cup joint WTA and ATP tournament on Tuesday (x denotes seeding):
Dmitry Tursunov (RUS x6) bt Albert Ramos (ESP) 7-6 (7/5), 6-4
Michael Berrer (GER) bt Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) 6-2, 6-4
Jeremy Chardy (FRA) bt Potito Starace (ITA) 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/2)
Alex Bogomolov Jr. (USA x5) bt Dusan Lajovic (SRB) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
Gilles Muller (LUX x7) bt Konstantin Kravchuk (RUS) 7-6 (7/5), 6-4
Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) bt Carlos Berlocq (ARG) 7-5, 6-3
Klara Zakopalova (CZE) bt Olga Savchuk (UKR) 6-3, 6-1
Ksenia Pervak (RUS) bt Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) 7-5, 6-4
Lucie Safarova (CZE) bt Arantxa Parra (ESP) 6-7 (7/9), 6-4, 6-3
Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) bt Petra Martic (CRO) 6-1 retired