MOSCOW: Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky produced an opening day upset at the joint ATP and WTA Kremlin Cup so far, ousting Portuguese seventh seed Joao Sousa in straight sets here yesterday.
The 98th ranked player in the world saw off the 24-year-old Sousa 6-4, 6-3 in one hour 17 minutes. Sousa, 50th in the ATP rankings, started this first round tie confidently, clinching a comfortable 4-1 lead with a break in the fourth game.
However unseeded Stakhovsky refused to surrender and broke back twice to take the five consecutive games and the first set in 37 minutes. In the second Stakhovsky, who lives in Bratislava, Slovakia, underlined his supremacy at the hard court of Moscow’s Olympic indoor arena when producing two more breaks to take the set and the match.
In the next round the 27-year-old Ukrainian will face either the Czech Jiri Vesely or France’s Edouard Roger-Vasselin.
Among the women, France’s Aize Cornet, who is seeking her fourth title here, saw off Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina 7-5, 6-3 in one hour 42 minutes on her way into the second round. Local favourite and two-time Grand Slam title winner Svetlana Kuznetsova, seeded eighth, advanced into the second round on the back of a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko. AFP