Cornet, Kuznetsova, Stakhovsky advance in Moscow
MOSCOW (AP)—Svetlana Kuznetsova, a two-time Grand Slam champion who last won a tournament three years ago, advanced to the second round of the Kremlin Cup by beating Lesia Tsurenko 7-5, 6-2 Monday.
The eighth-seeded Russian won five consecutive games in the second set and served for the match at love.
"I haven't been playing at the Kremlin Cup for a couple of years,'' Kuznetsova said. "But this year I really want to play my best here and that's why I was so nervous at the beginning of the match. And I feel myself much better than a year ago when I really tired of tennis after being on the circuit for 12 years.''
Kuznetsova is looking for her 14th career title. Her most recent victory came in San Diego in 2010. Her best result in Moscow was the 2007 semifinals.
Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine and Alize Cornet of France also won first-round matches in straight sets. Stakhovsky upset seventh-seeded Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-4, 6-3, while Cornet ousted Ukrainian teenager Elina Svitolina 7-5, 6-3.
Top-seeded Angelique Kerber, coming off her third career title in Linz, Austria, on Sunday, withdrew because of an abdominal strain.
Richard Gasquet, who is looking for a spot in the season-ending ATP World Tour finals in London for the second straight season, leads the men's field.