Russians Get Hysterical in Meltdowns at WTA Pattaya

Posted on February 8, 2006

Top-seeded Vera "The Crying Game" Zvonareva had plenty to bawl about Tuesday at the WTA stop in Pattaya when the weeping Russian was steamrolled in her opener by Argentine singles wildcard and doubles specialist Paola Suarez 6-1, 6-3.

"I'm happy with the way I played," Suarez said. "I thought the best part of my game was my serve in the first set after I got used to the balls. They are so fast and flying a lot. But I had to be focused and just play my game."

Suarez had to not only hold her concentration through Zvonareva's on-court waterworks and racquet smashing (for which she received a penalty), but also the at-time hysterical screaming of another Russian, Anastassia Rodionova, who was having a meltdown on an adjacent court.

"It was a little bit difficult to play like this, with so much screaming and shouting," Suarez said.

Seeded winners on the day were No. 3 Catalina Castano (d. (LL) Rodionova from a set down) and No. 8 Mara Santangelo (d. (Q) King), while No. 6 Jie Zheng was shanghaied 6-0, 6-2 by Melinda "The Fifth Element" Czink.

"I think she's a good player, but the way that she stalled on almost every single point was too much," Castano said of the screaming Russian Rodionova. "It was difficult for the umpire too, because it's not easy for them to control a player like that. When you play a player like that you have to be focused all the time and not get involved. When I did talk to the umpire it was because it was too much, discussing the same point for too long."

Other winners into the second round Tuesday were Austrian Sybille "The Whammer" Bammer (d. (WC) Viratprasert), Croat Jelena Kostanic (d. (Q) K.Bondarenko), Canadian qualifier Aleksandra Wozniak (d. N.Li), Russian Ekaterina Bychkova (d. (WC) Nagyova), and China's Tiantian Sun (d. (Q) Kudryavtseva), all in straight sets.

Scheduled for Wednesday in Pattaya are Peer vs. Sanchez Lorenzo, Sun vs. Castano, Llagostera Vives vs. Wozniak, and Dominguez Lino vs. Nakamura.