Dubai: Former two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova eased into the second round of qualifying at the 2013 Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open at the Dubai Tennis Stadium on Saturday.
Kuznetsova, who did well to oust France’s Marion Bartoli in the first round but succumbed to Australian Samantha Stosur in the second 4-6, 5-7 at the ongoing Qatar Open in Doha, was in supreme form as she sailed past reserve entrant Marta Domachowska. The Pole had taken the place of top seed in qualifying Tamira Paszek, who pulled out at the last minute due to a viral illness.
The 2004 US Open and 2009 French Open champion Kuznetsova won in straight sets 6-1, 6-0 in less than an hour to set up a clash against fellow Russian Daria Gavrilova, an easy 6-3, 7-5 winner over Japan’s Misaki Doi.
Oman’s lone hope Fatma Al Nabhani also suffered an early first-round qualifying exit when she went down 2-6, 3-6 to Austrian Olivia Rogowska. Al Nabhani had her chances in the second set when she exchanged breaks and levelled the scores at 3-3, but Rogowska emerged triumphant to set up a meeting with Spain’s second seed, Carla Suarez Navarro, who was an easy 6-3, 6-1 winner over Belarussian Olga Govortsova.
Greek veteran Eleni Daniidilou was another first-round qualifying casualty as she went down 2-6, 6-4, 2-6 against Romanian Simona Halep, while third seed Elena Vesnina impressed in a 7-5, 6-3 win over American Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
Urszula Radwanska, the younger sister of world No 4 Agnieszka, battled to a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 win over Ukrainian Yuliya Beygelzimer, while seventh seed Jie Zheng became the second Chinese player to advance with a 6-2, 6-1 win over German wildcard Kathrin Woerle.
Svetlana Kuznetsova bt Marta Domachowska 6-1, 6-0; Daria Gavrilova bt Misaki Doi 6-3, 7-5; Shuai Zhang bt Cagla Buyukakcay 6-2, 7-5; Carla Navarro Suarez bt Olga Govortsova 6-3, 6-1; Olivia Rogowska bt Fatma Al Nabhani 6-2, 6-3; Ekaterina Bychkova bt Anastasia Rodionova 6-4, 4-6, 6-2; Ayumi Morita bt Vera Dushevina 6-3, 6-2; Akgul Amanmuradova bt Maria Elena Camerin 6-3, 6-0; Kurumi Nara bt Kristyna Pliskova 4-6, 6-1, 6-1; Christina McHale bt Kai-Chen Chang 6-0, 2-6, 6-4; Simona Halep bt Eleni Daniilidou 6-2, 4-6, 6-2; Elena Vesnina bt Bethanie Mattek-Sands 7-5, 6-3; Jie Zheng bt Kathrin Woerle 6-2, 6-1; Urszula Radwanska bt Yuliya Beygelzimer 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.
Sunday’s Order of Play (10.30am star) Svetlana Kuznetsova vs Daria Gavrilova; Kurumi Nara vs Christina McHale; Carla Suarez Navarro vs Olivia Rogowska; Simona Halep vs Daniela Hantuchova/Karolina Pliskova; Shuai Zhang vs Anabel Medina Garrigues OR Tsvetana Pironkova; Ayumi Morita vs Jie Zheng; Urszula Radwanska vs Akgul Amanmuradova; Elena Vesnina vs Ekaterina Bychkova.