Cibulkova rallies past Makarova at Kremlin Cup
MOSCOW -- Defending champion Dominika Cibulkova advanced to the second round of the Kremlin Cup, rallying to beat Ekaterina Makarova of Russia 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 Tuesday.
The fifth-seeded Slovak struggled in the first set, losing four consecutive games, but she broke Makarova in the 10th game of the second set to even the match before jumping out to a 5-1 lead in the third set.
"The surface is very much different from the one here last year, and it's not the best surface I would say," Cibulkova said. "Last year it was much softer and it was like a gum. But now it's very slow and very rough. It was not easy to get into the rhythm, that's why I had so many mishits in the first set."
In the second round, Cibulkova will face Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria, who beat American Varvara Lepchenko 6-0, 7-6 (3).
Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan eliminated Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-2.
"With my tennis today, I had no chances against Yaroslava," Pavlyuchenkova said. "I made too many mistakes on my serve, while Yaroslava played aggressively and attacked from the first return."
Also, Vesna Dolonc of Serbia made it into the final 16, rallying to beat Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan 1-6, 6-1, 6-4, while Alize Cornet of France defeated Anastasia Rodionova of Australia, 6-4, 6-3.
In the first round of the men's tournament, Alex Bogomolov Jr. upset fellow Russian and three-time champion Nikolay Davydenko 7-5, 6-4. The two met two weeks ago in Beijing with Davydenko winning in straight sets in the first round.
"Today, I won the first set and was leading 4-0 in the second, but Nikolay didn't want to give up. I was lucky to win in straight sets," Bogomolov said.
Davydenko saved two match points in the last game before sending a backhand cross just wide on the third.
"I've made too many mistakes in the match," Davydenko said. "But it's positive that it was not my opponent who forced me to make mistakes -- I myself faulted trying to find my game. It's a pity ... I wanted to play a good match but failed."
Also, seventh-seeded Carlos Berlocq of Argentina rallied past Russian qualifier Andrey Kuznetsov 1-6, 6-4, 6-3; Konstantin Kravchuk of Russia ousted Evgeny Korolev of Kazakhstan 6-4, 6-3; and Igor Sijsling of the Netherlands beat Michael Berrer of Germany 7-6 (7), 6-3.