Top seed Petrova advances

4/7/2009 - Tennis

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Top-seeded Nadia Petrova breezed through her first-round match with a 6-2, 6-4 win Tuesday over Olga Govortsova at The MPS Group Championships.

The 10th-ranked Petrova was ahead 4-2 in the second set, with wind gusting to 30 mph, when Govortsova broke and held to tie it at 4-4.

Petrova, who won 76 percent of her first-serve points, took a lead 5-4 in a game with five deuces. She added one of her four aces in the final game.

"It is really rare for it to get that windy," Petrova said. "It was difficult, very difficult. The tennis you play in this kind of condition is to put more balls in the court. It is pretty difficult to play great, beautiful tennis. You have to keep it very simple and very smart."

Second-seeded and 12th-ranked Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark held off Samantha Stosur 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-1, and American Bethanie Mattek-Sands beat 13th-ranked Marion Bartoli of France 5-7, 7-6(4), 6-3.

Wozniacki said she went on the defensive in the second set, which let Stosur back in the match. She found her game again in the third.

"I decided that even if I won playing defensively I wouldn't gain anything," she said.

Daniela Hantuchova fought off three match points to beat Anastasija Sevastova 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5).

"I don't remember the last time the wind was this bad," Hantuchova said. "Probably this is one of the worst. Like this, when it keeps swirling, it was not possible to serve. I was just serving second serves all match."

Other winners Tuesday were fifth-seeded Aleksandra Wozniak, Anastasia Rodionova, Tamira Paszek and Sabine Lisicki.

Fourth-seeded Patty Schnyder and sixth-seeded Shuai Peng of China both lost. Schnyder was beaten by Varvara Lepchenko 6-2, 6-0, while Peng lost to Elena Vesnina 2-6, 6-1, 6-3.

The third-seeded doubles team of Alona and Kateryna Bondarenko also won.