Youzhny, Petrova march on

MOSCOW: Home favourite and third-seed Mikhail Youzhny cruised into the Kremlin Cup second round with a straight-set win over Horacio Zeballos of Argentina here on Monday.

The 27-year-old Russian, 30th in the ATP rankings, came through his first ever meeting with Zeballos 6-1, 7-6 (7/5). Youzhny started confidently producing three breaks in the opening set which he took in 26 minutes. In the second set Zeballos, ranked 54th in the world, broke early to clinch a 3-1 lead but Youzhny broke back in the sixth to level at 3-3. In the tiebreak Youzhny’s greater accuracy prevailed as he won the set and the match in one hour 26 minutes.

Fifth seed Pablo

Cuevas of Uruguay,

52nd in the ATP rankings, also advanced into

the second round beating Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei 6-4, 6-2.

On the women’s side, local favourite and fifth seed Nadia Petrova ousted unheralded 17-year-old compatriot Yana Buchina

6-2, 6-0 in their first ever meeting. Petrova, 27, looked in command from the start breaking wild card Buchina’s serve

twice in the opening set after 31 minutes on court. In the second set Petrova

underlined her domination on the hardcourts breaking her opponent for a 48-minute win.

“The match was so short and she (Buchina) was so nervous that she wasn’t going her way,” said Petrova. “For me the event’s opening match is usually uneasy and I also committed too many own mistakes today. I need to keep myself concentrated throughout the match to gain success here.” In the second round Petrova will face unseeded Ukraine’s Alona Bondarenko, who saw off 2006 champion Anna Chakvetadze of Russia, in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 in one hour 17 minutes.