Svetlana Kuznetsova progressed into the second round of the Kremlin Cup with a 6-3 6-3 victory over Alize Cornet. Kuznetsova was patchy, but showed sparks of some good form. It was a nice match-up for Kuznetsova against a passive and ineffective opponent – Cornet hit just 4 winners in the whole match and was playing from way behind the baseline without any chance to make an impression on the match. I have felt that Kuznetsova has the game to win many more majors, but I feel that her time has now passed. She always shows flashes of the form that took her to two majors, but she is so inconsistent and seems to lack the passion to reach the top of the game again.
Ksenia Pervak beat Galina Voskoboeva, 6-4 7-5 in a topsy turvy 1st round encounter. This was the first time I have ever watched Pervak play and to be honest, I was a bit disappointed. Pervak has been on a steady rise up the rankings and is currently ranked at number 37 in the world. She has some solid groundstrokes, but her serve is pedestrian at best and she doesn’t seem to possess any special stroke that is likely to set her apart from the rest. I would have to say a top 20 player at best. Voskoboeva was in and out today and needs to keep her head in check if she is to progress further up the rankings. Pervak was just the more consistent player today and will face a difficult test in the next round against the in-form, Marion Bartoli. A win here would be a good way to end the year… I doubt it will happen though 😉
In Luxembourg, there were a number of surprises as Daniela Hantuchova was knocked out by Lucie Hradecka and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was shocked by the out-of-form, Rebecca Marino. I am particularly pleased to see Marino win as I have followed her on the tour since her solid performance against Venus Williams at the 2010 US Open. I read some of her blogs on the WTA website and they were by far the most thoughtful and interesting I have read all year, which instantly made me a fan! Marino has really struggled in recent months to string any wins together so this was a big one for her today. Marino will next play either Angelique Kerber or Bibiane Schoofs (great name!) in the next round.