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Doha Day 1: Caro and Vera off to blistering starts

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Originally published on: 27/10/10 09:08

The WTA Championship kicked off in lightening quick style as the top two seeds barely broke sweat against their under-par opponents, winning in ruthless style.

World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki ran riot against Elena Dementieva, triumphing 6-1 6-1 in just over 50 minutes to top the Maroon Group.

“Elena’s a great player so to pull this one out was nice,” said the Dane. “I’m really happy to get through my first match.”

Dementieva, who struggled to deal with the 20-year-old, also appeared hampered by her ankle injury picked up before the event, and admitted at the end of the match that the lack training was a deciding factor.

“I think the fact that I was not able to practice for a couple of days because I really needed to rest it really affected the way I was moving today,” said the Russian. “Today was a bad experience. I’m going to learn from that and play a better match next round.”

The other match in the group saw Sam Stosur avenge her defeat against Francesca Schiavone in the Roland Garros final following a 6-4 6-4 victory over the Italian.

The Aussie struggled early on, winning just a three points in the opening four games, but from that moment on the No.5 seed kicked into gear and went on to win the next six games to take the set and then crucially broke in the ninth game of the second set to secure victory.

“It wasn’t going too well at the beginning, that’s for sure. It was happening so quickly,” said Stosur, reflecting on her laboured start.
“From that point I just tried to slow down a little bit and take my time, and play point by point.

Unlike Stosur, Vera Zvonareva was on the ball from start to finish as she dispatched an under the weather Jelena Jankovic in clinical fashion, winning 6-3 6-0.

“It’s an amazing feeling to win my first match of this year’s WTA Championships,” said the Russian, who faces Victoria Azarenka in today’s first match. “All the players are very tough here and everyone who made it to the final eight deserves to be here. I was just trying to do my best on the court today.”

The heavy defeat will come as no surprise to the Serb who has been struggling in recent weeks and even spoke out before the event about her fitness concerns.

“I had difficulty breathing during the match, felt dizzy and tingling and didn’t have any power,” confessed Jankovic. “I finished the match but had a really hard time. There were moments when I felt I was going to give up.”

The 25-year-old will have to pick herself up quickly as she faces a fresh Kim Clijsters second on court this afternoon.

Today’s order of play
Khalifa Tennis Complex (from 15.00hrs GMT, coverage: British Eurosport)
1. Vera Zvonareva vs. Victoria Azarenka
2. Kim Clijsters vs. Jelena Jankovic
3. Caroline Wozniacki vs. Samantha Stosur

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