Myskina ousted from first round

Auckland, January 1:

Anastasia Myskina is a doubtful starter for the Australian Open because of a toe injury which hastened her exit from the $145,000 ASB Women’s Tennis Classic on Monday.

Second-seeded Myskina required courtside medical treatment during her 6-1, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 first-round loss of Argentina’s Gisela Dulko. “I realized during the match that I may not be ready for the Australian Open,” the 2004 French Open and world No 2-ranked player said.

The loss to Dulko was Myskina’s first match since October. The 25-year-old right hander, the first Russian woman to win a Grand Slam title, is expected to decide within days whether she will play at the Australian Open starting January 15 in Melbourne. For Dulko, 21, it was a first win in three meetings with Myskina.

Eighth-seeded Shenay Perry was also a first round casualty on Monday, losing 6-3, 5-7, 5-2 to Camille Pin of France. Defending champion and fourth-seeded Marion Bartoli of France beat Ayumi Morita of Japan 7-6 (4), 6-3 to advance smoothly to the second round. In other matches Sun Tiantian of China beat New Zealand Leanne Baker 6-1, 6-1 and Emilie Loit completed a French sweep, beating Eva Birnerova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-1.