Thursday, March 21, 2013

Victoria Duval defeats Larsson in first round of Sony Open Tennis 2013

MIAMI, FL, USA - The first round of the Sony Open Tennis came to a close with 22 matches on Wednesday, and the only former champion in action made a smooth progression to the second round, as Svetlana Kuznetsova battled past Lourdes Domínguez Lino in straight sets over on Court 1, 63 63.

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There was one rough patch - from 5-1 up in the first set Kuznetsova lost five of the next six games, closing out the set but falling behind 3-0 in the second set - but the Russian brushed that patch off and reeled off the last six games of the match to finish the Spaniard off in an hour and 10 minutes.

Miami has been one of Kuznetsova's best stops in the past, not only winning the title in 2006 but making the semifinals twice more, in 2008 (losing to eventual champion Serena Williams in three sets) and 2009 (losing to eventual champion Victoria Azarenka in three sets). And she has also captured the doubles title twice before, in 2005 (with Alicia Molik) and 2009 (with Amélie Mauresmo).

Next for Kuznetsova is No.18 seed Ekaterina Makarova. The two are tied in their head-to-head, 1-1.

A pair of marathon wins for veterans also highlighted the day's play, beginning with Anabel Medina Garrigues' 57 64 76(3) win over Alexandra Dulgheru - Medina Garrigues was actually down 75 42 but battled back and eventually overcame the Romanian in exactly three hours. A little bit later on, Francesca Schiavone battled for two hours and 41 minutes to squeak past Jana Cepelova, 57 64 64.

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