Kirilenko ousts Hantuchova

Zurich, October 14:

Russia’s Maria Kirilenko upset eighth-seeded Slovak Daniela Hantuchova 7-5, 6-2 on the opening day of the Zurich Open, as former World No 1 Amelie Mauresmo crashed out.

There was little to separate Kirilenko and Hantuchova in the first set of the match that rarely rose above the ordinary, as many of the games were closely fought and play went to deuce 16 times.

After breaks in the first two games, Hantuchova fought off five more break points until, with the Slovak leading 5-4, both players called for a medical time-out. When play resumed, Kirilenko claimed the next five games to take the opening set and lead 2-0 in the second. Hantuchova then broke to level at 2-2, but the more aggressive Kirilenko swept the final four games to clinch her one hour 50-minute victory.

In other matches, 2006 Wimbledon winner Mauresmo of France continued to struggle as she was beaten 6-2, 6-1 by Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, and Alize Cornet, also of France, was edged out 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (6) by Ukraine’s Alona Bondarenko.

Madrid Masters

MADRID: Unseeded players swung into action at the Madrid Masters. Frenchman Gilles Simon, winner at Indianapolis over the summer and Bucharest last month, started with a victory against Russian Igor Andreev 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (9/7).

American Mardy Fish stepped on to court for the first time since the US Open and his last September marriage, defeating Belgian Steve Darcis 6-1, 6-4. Simone Bolelli carried his luck even farther after gaining an entry when Marat Safin withdrew with a sore shoulder, defeating Spain’s Nicolas Almagro 7-6 (7/4), 6-1.