Zvonareva eases into Italian Open second round with straight-set victory

Updated: May 12, 2008, 1:20 PM ET
Associated Press

ROME -- Tenth-seeded Vera Zvonareva extended her impressive streak of clay-court victories, cruising past Ai Sugiyama 6-3, 6-3 on Monday in the first round of the Italian Open.

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Zvonareva won the Prague Open earlier this month after losing to Serena Williams in the final at Charleston in her previous tournament. In between, Zvonareva posted a three-set win over Vania King on clay to clinch victory for Russia in the Fed Cup semifinals against the United States.

Zvonareva improved to 32-7 overall this year.

Also Monday, 11th-seeded Agnes Szavay routed Yan Zi 6-1, 6-1 to advance on an overcast day at the Foro Italico. Virginie Razzano easily defeated Julia Vakulenko 6-1, 6-2, while Virginia Ruano Pascual eliminated Anastasia Rodionova 6-1, 6-3.

Samantha Stosur marked her return to the WTA Tour with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over 42nd-ranked Michaella Krajicek. Stosur, a former doubles No. 1, had been out for several months because of illness. She will next face seventh-seeded Venus Williams.

Two-time Rome champion Amelie Mauresmo is missing the tournament with a rib injury. Top-ranked Justine Henin also pulled out, citing fatigue, and Dinara Safina withdrew with a back injury Monday, one day after winning the German Open.

Ana Ivanovic and Maria Sharapova are seeded Nos. 1 and 2. The top eight seeded players have first-round byes in the tournament, an important clay-court warmup for the French Open.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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