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Schiavone and Kuznetsova crash out in Rome first round

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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620   //    15 May 2012, 10:06 IST

2010 winner and 2011 finalist Francesca Schiavone continued her dismal form in 2012 with a straight sets loss to Russian Ekaterina Makarova

Two former French Open champions were knocked out in the first round of the WTA Italian Open, sending their French Open preparations into reverse gear.

2010 winner and 2011 finalist Francesca Schiavone continued her dismal form in 2012 with a straight sets loss to Russian Ekaterina Makarova. The Italian is now 8-12 on the tour this year.

Meanwhile, 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic best former world no. 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4, 6-3 in blustry windy conditions.

12th seed and rising German Angelique Kerber needed three tough sets to get past Aussie qualier Anastasia Rodionova.

“It was very tough conditions because some of the court had shadows, some was sunny, and it was windy,” Kerber told the press. “And Anastasia played very well – I was just thinking to fight and play point by point, and I’m very happy I won.

“I love playing on red clay. I grew up on it. Last week the blue clay in Madrid wasn’t so bad, I made the third round, but it’s good to be back on red!”

“It was difficult at times and the gusts of wind would come out of nowhere, but it was the same for both of us,” Ivanovic commented. “I just tried to move and adjust to it, and look at the ball and move forward when I needed to.”

In the doubles, India’s Sania Mirza combined with Bethanie Mattek Sands to win their first round over Erakovic/Niculescu 6-2, 6-1 and will now meet top ranked Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond.

INTERNAZIONALI BNL D’ITALIA

Singles – First Round
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) d. (10) Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 63 64
(12) Angelique Kerber (GER) d. (Q) Anastasia Rodionova (AUS) 46 75 62
(13) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) d. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 64 63
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d. Ksenia Pervak (KAZ) 62 64
Julia Goerges (GER) d. (Q) Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) 61 67(1) 63
Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) d. Zheng Jie (CHN) 62 61
Christina McHale (USA) d. Monica Niculescu (ROU) 64 64
Chanelle Scheepers (RSA) d. Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS) 64 76(3)
Iveta Benesova (CZE) d. Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 64 57 76(5)
Shahar Peer (ISR) d. Peng Shuai (CHN) 76(4) 46 31 ret. (left hand injury)
Vania King (USA) d. Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 60 61
Sofia Arvidsson (SWE) d. María José Martínez Sánchez (ESP) 63 62

Doubles – First Round
(5) Kirilenko/Petrova (RUS/RUS) d. Govortsova/Voskoboeva (BLR/KAZ) 63 63
(7) Grandin/Uhlirova (RSA/CZE) d. Bacsinszky/Brianti (SUI/ITA) 60 62
Chuang/Dushevina (TPE/RUS) d. (8) Kops-Jones/Spears (USA/USA) 63 61
Cibulkova/Husarova (SVK/SVK) d. (WC) Burnett/Virgili (ITA/ITA) 62 62
Mattek-Sands/Mirza (USA/IND) d. Erakovic/Niculescu (NZL/ROU) 62 61

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