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Kuznetsova Into Bali Quarterfinals
Posted on September 14, 2006
BALI, Indonesia --- Two-time former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova improved her Wismilak International record to 10-0 Wednesday. The Russian defeated Erika Takao, 61 62, and will next play either Indonesian qualifier Sandy Gumulya or No.8 seed Severine Bremond.
It was Kuznetsova's first ever sighting of five-foot tall Takao, who started to mount a small challenge against the 2004 US Open champion late in the match, but Kuznetsova was a class above.
"It's always tough to play someone you've never played or seen before. It was a pretty straight-forward match, but I'm a perfectionist, so there are definitely a lot of things I want to improve on for my next match."
Kuznetsova won this $225,000 hardcourt event in 2002 and 2004. She scored consecutive wins against tennis legends Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario and Conchita Martinez in her first championship run. Two years later, she defeated Nadia Petrova in the semis and Marlene Weingartner in the final. She also made the doubles final here both times with Sanchez-Vicario.
No.6 seed Marion Bartoli defeated Casey Dellacqua, 61 63, to set up a quarterfinal meeting with either Andreja Klepac or Shikha Uberoi. Bartoli posted some solid results during the American hardcourt swing. The Frenchwoman had third round finishes at Los Angeles and Montreal and made the quarters at New Haven, defeating Petrova en route.
Melina Czink, who scored her first Top 20 victory against No.5 seed Daniela Hantuchova in the first round, had to put up a fight against Indonesian wild card Angelique Widjaja. The Hungarian served for the first set at 5-4 but was broken to force a tie-breaker, which she won quite handily. From there on Widjaja's intensity dropped and Czink played more confidently.
"At 5-4 I got a little tight serving for the set," Czink said. "She's a very smart player, and was able to pick up on my weaknesses after only a few points. But after I won the first set I felt like she lost her focus. It was a different match from yesterday, when I had nothing to lose against a higher-ranked opponent (Hantuchova). But today I was playing against someone ranked a lot lower than me, so there was more pressure on me, even if she was the local player."
Lindsay Davenport and Corina Morariu defeated Casey Dellacqua and Sunitha Rao, 63 61. It was Davenport's first doubles match since Wimbledon 2005. The American tandem will face Bremond and Galina Voskoboeva in the second round.
Other Wednesday winners were Elise Tamaela and Hana Sromova. Natalie Grandin and Trudi Musgrave defeated Ayu Fani Damayanti and Gumulya, 63 61, to become the first doubles team in the quarterfinals.
On Thursday, defending champion and No.3 seed Davenport will play Akiko Morigami and No.2 Patty Schnyder is up against Tamaela.