Wed, Oct 11, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Nicole Vaidisova breezes into Moscow second round

AFP , MOSCOW

Russia's Maria Sharapova speaks at a press conference ahead of the Kremlin Cup tennis tournament in Moscow on Monday.

PHOTO: AP

Czech Nicole Vaidisova breezed into the second round of the Kremlin Cup, a US$2.34 million joint ATP and WTA event, with a straight-sets win over Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in Moscow on Monday.

Rising star

The 17-year-old rising star, a regular on cat-walks, won 6-3, 6-3 in one hour 12 minutes in her first ever head-to-head meeting with wildcard Pavlyuchekova, just 15 years old.

The teenagers traded breaks in the opening set but the Czech eighth seed, who is seeking a seventh career title and second this season, was slightly more precise with her groundstrokes and claimed the first set in 31 minutes.

In the second Vaidisova, 11th in the WTA rankings, underlined her domination on the carpet courts of Moscow's indoor Olympic stadium, breaking her rival's serve twice to seal the victory on her first match point.

"I was very happy with my performance today," Vaidisova said after the match. "After the first couple of games I felt very comfortable on court."

Meanwhile, Russian veteran Elena Likhovtseva presented a 46-minute masterclass to Maria Elena Camerin of Italy, beating her outclassed opponent 6-0, 6-1 on her way to the second round.

Likhovtseva, who took 11 consecutive games before Camerin chalked up her first, will face either fifth-seeded compatriot Nadia Petrova or Germany's Anna-Lena Groenefeld in a match for a place in the quarter-finials.

Opening clash

In the opening clash of the day, Peer Shahar of Israel ousted another wildcard, Russia's Elena Bovina, 6-0, 6-2.

Bovina was playing her first match since suffering a right-shoulder injury in last year's Rolland Garros quarter-final.

In the ATP section of the event, unseeded Czech Jan Hernych cruised comfortably into the second round past fifth seed Filippo Volandri of Italy 6-1, 6-4, while Russia's Teimuraz Gabashvili saw off Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 7-6 (7/3), 6-3.

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