Shvedova's title defence dream ends in Bangalore Open

Last Updated: Tue, Mar 04, 2008 10:41 hrs

Bangalore: Defending champion Yaroslava Shvedova's dream of retaining her title at the Bangalore Open was shattered by Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan, while sixth seed Sybille Bammer and eighth seed Agnes Svay made it to the second round of the tournament here Monday.

Shvedova of Russia was shocked in the first round by Amanmuradova 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, while Austrian Bammer and Svay prevailed over Japanese girl Akiko Morigami and India's Shikha Uberoi 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 and 6-1, 6-4 respectively first round of the $600,000 Tier II event at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA) ground.

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Unforced errors were the main reason Shvedova's defeat. The defending champion committed a large number of unforced errors in the match and was also very slow in court coverage while the well-built Uzbek was solid in her serve and volley.

However, it was Shvedova, ranked 90, who seized the initiative early breaking the tall Uzbek's serve in the third game of the opening set, but Amanmuradova broke back in the very next game to level scores at 2-2.

In fact, till the fifth game of the set, the 20-year-old Russian had committed 11 unforced errors as compared to her opponent's two.

From then onwards, it went on even stages till the eighth game when the world ranked 83rd Uzbek broke Shvedova's scratchy serve for the second time in the set to go up 5-3 and then held on to her own serve to pocket the set 6-3 and ignite hopes of the first upset of the tournament.

However, the Russian made it sure it won't be a cakewalk for the Uzbek as she reduced her unforced error percentage and powered her way into the match, breaking her opponent's serve in the sixth game of the second set to go 4-2. She then held on to her own service games to clinch the set 6-3 and level scores set apiece.

Shevedova continued her attacking game in the third set and broke Amanmuradova serve as early as in the first game, only to see her opponent level the score in the next. But the turning point of the match came in the fifth game of the set when Shvedova had to stretch herself to the fullest while returning a deep forehand volley of Amanmuradova and in that process pulled her back.

In an earlier match of the day, Bammer, who is one of the very few mothers on the tour, came back strongly in the second set breaking Morigami's serve first in the third game and then in the eighth game to square the set 1-1.

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The Austrian seized the initiative early in the third set with two back-to-back breaks in the third and fifth games. However, Morigami made a last ditch effort breaking Bammer in the eighth game, but the sixth seed broke the unseeded Japanese again in the 11th game and served out to make the second round.

Meanwhile, Indian girls had a disappointing outing in the first day of the tournament, which is the biggest in South-East Asia, as US-based Indian Sunitha Rao, Shikha and sisters Ankita and Sanaa Bhambri lost their respective matches Monday.

Sunitha, ranked 181, failed to make it to the main draw, losing in straight sets 2-6, 1-6 to Tiantian Sun of China, while Ankita and Sanaa squandered a set lead to bow out in the first round of the 4-6, 6-4, 10-4 in the super tie-breaker, while Shikha had no answers to the 18-year-old Hungarian's superior game and bowed out in straight sets.

In other first round doubles encounter of the day, top seed Yung-Jan Chan and Chia-Jung Chuang of Chinese Taipei had to went through a super tie-breaker to prevail over Swiss pair o-f Emmanuelle Gagliardi and Patty Schnyder 6-3, 5-7, 10-6, while third seed Chinese pair of Shuai Peng and Tiantian Sun stormed their way into the second round beating unseeded Russian combination of Vesna Manasieva and Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 6-4.

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