Frigid temperatures don't slow Petrova, Chakvetadze

4/30/2007 - Tennis

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
American opponent.

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.