Venus beats Marerro in Istanbul

Associated Press

Istanbul, May 18:

Seventh-seeded Anna Chakvetadze defeated fellow Russian Tatiana Panova 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 in the second round of the Istanbul Cup on Wednesday to set up a quarter-final against

Venus Williams.

Chakvetadze will meet top-seeded Williams, who hasn’t won a title for a year, on Thursday. In other games on Wednesday, fifth-seeded Anna-Lena Groenefeld easily defeated Emmanuelle Gagliardi 6-3, 6-2, while Mashona Washington, seeded eighth, beat Elena Vesnina 7-5, 6-1.

Venus didn’t drop a game in routing Marta Marrero of Spain to reach the quarters. Third-seeded Anna Smashnova and No 5 Anna-Lena Groenefeld won their first-round matches, but No 6 Meghann Shaughnessy lost 6-3, 7-5 to Bulgarian qualifier Tszvetana Pironkova, ranked 220th.

Strasbourg Int’l

STRASBOURG: Three-time champion Silvia Farina Elia and defending champ Claudine Schaul were swept out of the Strasbourg International first round on Tuesday.

Third-seeded Farina

Elia, the event’s only three-time winner in 2001, ‘02, and ‘03, was ousted by Dally

Randriantefy of Madagascar 6-2, 7-5, while Schaul’s defence of her first and only title lasted only an hour against seventh-seeded Amy Frazier 6-2, 6-3.

Fourth-seeded Shinobu Asagoe, Japan’s top player, also was ousted by Vera Douchevina of Russia 6-2, 6-4, but Japan No 2 and fifth seed Ai Sugiyama defeated Czech qualifier Hana Sromova 6-3, 6-2.

Sixth-seeded Karolina Sprem ended a four-match losing streak after finishing off the last set against Martina Sucha of Slovakia 7-5, 5-7, 7-5 in a match postponed from Monday, and No 8 Paola Suarez beat local hope Virginie Razzano 6-1, 7-6.

Three-time French Open quarter-finalist Chanda Rubin made her first appearance on the WTA Tour since September, and lost to Jie Zheng of China 6-4, 6-2.

Jie will face Sprem in the second round, while compatriot Shuai Peng will meet second-seeded Tatiana Golovin after beating Thailand’s Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-3, 6-0.

BTM Power GP

ST POELTEN: Top-seeded Nikolay Davydenko advanced to the quarter-finals of the BTM Power Grand Prix, beating Sjeng Schalken 6-3, 6-1. Davydenko will face Felix Mantilla, who upset fifth-seeded Mariano Puerta of Argentina 7-6, 4-6, 7-5.

Jurgen Melzer also reached the quarter-finals, beating Gilles Muller 6-2, 6-7, 7-5. In a first-round match, Christophe Rochus eliminated second-seeded Paradorn Srichaphan 6-1, 6-3. Rochus will face Davide Sanguinetti, who ousted Jiri Vanek 6-4, 6-2.