Kirilenko puts an end to Radwanska’s Doha dream
Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:48
Agnieszka Radwanska’s bid to reach the season-ending Sony Ericsson WTA Championships came to an abrupt end when she was beaten by Maria Kirilenko 6-3 6-3 in the first round of the Kremlin Cup.
Defeat for the world No.10, who had needed to win the tournament to have any chance of heading to Doha, means that Jelena Jankovic and Vera Zvonareva will fight it out for the final spot in the eight-woman field.
“I was trying because I was still in with a chance for Doha, but the surface is so slow here, you need to run a lot to win a point,” said Radwanska.
The Pole began badly, dropping serve in the first game of the match against world No.61 Kirilenko, before requesting treatment on her right thigh.
Unable to recover the break, Radwanska fell to another early break in the second set as the Russian secured her first win in five appearances at her hometown tournament.
Seven of the world’s top players opted to miss the tournament having already qualified for the women’s season finale, but Jankovic and Zvonareva now have everything to play for in Moscow.
Having both already qualified for the second round, the pressure is currently on Zvonareva, currently just outside the qualifying spots. Should both players lose before the quarter-finals, Jankovic will head to Doha.
However, the scenario changes if Zvonareva reaches the quarter-finals, after which the Russian only has to match Jankovic’s performance in Moscow to leapfrog her into the eighth qualifying spot.
In the men’s event, top seed Nikolay Davydenko starts his campaign for a fourth Kremlin Cup title and to seal his place at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals against compatriot Marat Safin.