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Anna Chakvetadze finds her feet in Dubai after Moscow robbery

Anna Chakvetadze finds her feet in Dubai after Moscow robbery

Sixth-ranked Anna Chakvetadze ended a two-match losing streak when she beat in-form Polish star Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 in the Dubai Championships first round on Tuesday.
Australian Open champion Maria Sharapova withdrew with a viral illness, but former champion and No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo advanced.
Chakvetadze hadn't won a match since claiming her seventh career title at the Paris Indoors at the start of the month, and faced a strong challenge from Radwanska who in her last events won at Pattaya City and reached the semifinals in Doha but had to qualify here.
The Russian squandered a 5-2 lead in the third set before setting up a match with compatriot Dinara Safna next.
"I am slowly regaining my rhythm and winning Paris was good for me, but that was indoors," Chakvetadze said.
"I lost my first match in Doha and knew I had a tough opponent in Agnieszka here. She played really well, but I should have won in two sets because I let go many chances to break her in the second. But I am happy to have played a tough opening round. I am already feeling a lot better about my game."
Unseeded Mauresmo, the 2002 champion and last year's runner-up, struggled to beat Spanish qualifier Anabel Medina Garrigues 7-6 (7), 6-2, and crowd favorite Mirza overcame a shaky start against Vera Dushevina of Russia before winning 7-6 (5), 6-2.
Seventh-seeded Marion Bartoli of France was knocked out by Francesca Schiavone of Italy 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-1.
Scheduled fifth seed Sharapova withdrew with a viral illness that she said she'd carried through her run in Doha, where she won her 18th career title on Sunday. Her place in the main draw was taken by Japan's Akiko Morigami, who made full use of her good fortune by seeing off Hungarian Agnes Szavay 6-1, 6-4.
Top-ranked Justine Henin starts the defense of her title with a second-round match against Slovenian Katarina Srebotnik, while Australian Open runner-up Ana Ivanovic will be up against Nicole Vaidisova. Third-seeded Jelena Jankovic will take on Mirza.


Updated : 2021-05-10 04:45 GMT+08:00