Kuznetsova, Petrova advance at Family Circle Cup

Updated: April 12, 2006, 10:24 PM ET
Associated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Nadia Petrova, ranked No. 7 in the world, was pushed to three sets by qualifier Alona Bondarenko before winning 6-1, 0-6, 6-2 to advance to the third round on the green clay at the Family Circle Cup.

Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Meghann Shaughnessy 6-0, 6-1 in her opening match, happy that her injured hip is better but now troubled by an aching elbow.

Petrova, the tournament's No. 2 seed, won the first set but then lost seven straight games to the Ukrainian. Petrova fell behind 1-0 in the third set before battling back against Bondarenko, ranked No. 80 in the world.

"She played very good tennis," Petrova said. "But what really helped her to be so much in the points and getting all the balls is because that center court is so much slower than all the other courts. It just has too much clay on it."

Petrova said she lost her focus during the second set, at one point swatting a ball over the grandstand after a line dispute with the chair umpire.

"At one stage I could have lost my mind after that call," said the Russian, who later swatted her towel with her racket.

Kuznetsova, who is seeded fourth, won in Miami two weeks ago and pulled out of Amelia Island last week with a strained hip after reaching the semifinals. After beating Shaughnessy in 51 minutes, the Russian said her right hip has improved. Her right elbow, however, was wrapped in ice.

"What do I have to do now?" she said. "But the hip is much better."

Shaughnessy was aware of Kuznetsova's problems.

"I know it's been bothering her, but it looked like she was moving well and hitting the ball well," the American said. "She has been playing some great tennis lately and has a big power game."

Nathalie Dechy of France won for only the second time in eight matches this season, defeating Anna Tatishvili 7-5, 6-4 to advance to the third round. Dechy injured her knee in December and has struggled to regain confidence.

"I've been losing [in the] first round lately, so it was really good to have this first win," she said. "I couldn't practice and I couldn't really be fit when I started this season."

Marion Bartoli of France defeated Yuliana Fedak of Ukraine 6-4, 6-3. Jill Craybas, named to the U.S. Fed Cup team earlier in the day, lost to Maria Santangelo of Italy 6-4, 7-6 (5).

Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany defeated Virginia Ruano Pascual of Spain 6-1, 6-4, while Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia beat qualifier Martina Sucha of Slovakia 6-3, 6-1.

Qualifier Julia Vakulenko of the Ukraine, who had not won a match this year, also advanced to the third round by defeating Antonella Serra Zanetti of Italy 6-1, 6-2. Vakulenko, ranked No. 193 in the world, beat 10th-seeded Jelena Jankovic in the first round.

Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain beat Neha Uberoi of the U.S. 6-3, 6-4, while Karolina Sprem of Croatia defeated Jamea Jackson of the U.S. 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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