Second round matches at the Kremlin Cup tournament in Moscow got underway on Thursday afternoon with the Serbian WTA number 12 and 4th seed Ana Ivanovic, taking on the Russian qualifier Valeria Solovieva, ranked at a career high 216 who mostly plays on the ITF circuit. On paper this looked like a stroll in the park for Ivanovic and so it was in the first set, when Solovieva won the first three points of the first game and then did not get another one until, at 0-5 down and serving to stay in the set, she held to get on the scoreboard. Ivanovic then served and took the set 6-1. Solovieva served first in the second set and went to deuce, ad and a hold, whereas Ivanovic had to survive five deuces before holding her serve. The match went with serve until Ivanovic managed to break in the seventh and ninth games to take this tricky set 6-4.
The sole remaining Russian in this tournament, Maria Kirilenko, ranked 16 and seeded 7, was next on court, up against Kazakhstan’s unseeded Yaroslava Shvedova, ranked at 29. The first two games went with serve, but Shvedova broke and kept her lead until 5-1, when Kirilenko made a remarkable comeback to level at 5-5, break again in a long seven minute game and then hold for the set at 7-5 which took almost an hour. In the second set the games again went with serve until Kirilenko broke for 4-2, but Shvedova levelled. In the seventh game Kirilenko served two double faults, but still held and went on to break Shvedova and take the set 6-4.
Vesna Dolonc of Serbia, ranked at 160, made it through three rounds of qualifying and then took out Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan in the first round. Her second round encounter was against Roumanian Simona Halep, conqueror of 6th seed Nadia Petrova in the first round. Ranked at 48 and based on her recent good form, it was expected that this match would be hers for the taking, but she had a really bad day at the office and lost to the qualifier in straights, 6-1 6-0 in a little over an hour.
World number 9 and first seed, Samantha Stosur of Australia, took on France’s Alize Cornet, ranked at 49. Cornet has slowly been climbing the rankings again, after a few years in the wilderness and she now has a new coach who really has helped her. The first set went with serve until Cornet broke for 4-3, but Stosur broke back and games went to 5-5 when Cornet broke again for 6-5, but Stosur held for the tiebreak, which she won 8-6. The second set saw each player break, then Cornet held for 2-1, break again for 3-1, only for Stosur to break for 2-3 and hold for 3-3. Cornet went 4-3 and 5-4 up before the Aussie, who was having a nightmare of a match by missing numerous sitters – especially her famed serve and volley play – managed to level at 5-5, break for 6-5 and serve out the set at 7-5 for a very lucky win, considering her 58 unforced error count.