Chakvetadze advance

Dubai, February 27:

Sixth-ranked Anna Chakvetadze ended a two-match losing streak when she beat in-form Polish star Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 in the Dubai Championships first round on Tuesday.

Australian Open champion Maria Sharapova withdrew with a viral illness, but former champion and No 1 Amelie Mauresmo advanced.

The Russian squandered a 5-2 lead in the third set before setting up a match with compatriot Dinara Safna next. Unseeded Mauresmo, the 2002 champion and last year’s runner-up, struggled to beat Spanish qualifier Anabel Medina Garrigues 7-6 (7), 6-2, and crowd favourite Mirza overcame Vera Dushevina of Russia 7-6 (5), 6-2.

Seventh-seeded Marion Bartoli of France was knocked out by Francesca Schiavone of Italy 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-1. Japan’s Akiko Morigami beat Hungarian Agnes Szavay 6-1, 6-4. Top-ranked Justine Henin starts the defense of her title with a second-round match against Slovenian Katarina Srebotnik, Ana Ivanovic will be up against Nicole Vaidisova. Third-seeded Jelena Jankovic will take on Mirza.