WARSAW, Poland -- Russians Nadia Petrova and Anna
Chakvetadze overcame the cold and wind to register straight-set
wins in the first round of the J&S Cup on Monday.
No. 5 Petrova beat Polish wild card Katarzyna Piter 6-3, 7-5,
and No. 6 Chakvetadze downed Jill Craybas 7-6 (6), 7-5 in 48 degree
temperatures on the opening day at the clay-court event.
"The conditions were I think the worst," Petrova said. "It
was cold, it was windy -- before we went on it was a little bit
Petrova next plays Mara Santangelo of Italy, who beat Severine
Bremond of France 6-2, 6-3.
Also Monday, Alona Bondarenko of Ukraine downed Katarina
Srebotnik of Slovenia 6-3, 4-6, 6-1.
Petrova criticized her own play, but had little trouble
overpowering the 16-year-old Piter.
"Matches like today are very difficult because when you walk on
court you already know that you're going to win," Petrova said.
"It's just a matter of how you're going to win. And playing a wild
card, somebody young, everybody is cheering for her and you want to
prove that you are better."
Earlier, Chakvetadze battled inconsistent play against her
With Craybas serving at 6-6 in the tiebreaker, Chakvetadze hit a
backhand crosscourt winner to earn her third set point. Craybas
then netted a backhand to give 20-year-old Chakvetadze the set.
The players traded breaks early in the second set.
Craybas had a chance to force a third set, serving at 5-4. But
Chakvetadze hit a deep backhand to force an error from the American
to lead 40-30, then knocked a forehand into the open court for the
break to level at 5-5.
The Russian held serve to love, then earned a match point when a
backhand by Craybas sailed long.
On Tuesday, Venus Williams plays Michaella Krajicek, and
seventh-seeded Elena Dementieva takes on Meilen Tu.