Top-seeded Chakvetadze cruises to victory in Linz

Oct 24, 2007 - 8:26 PM LINZ, Austria (Ticker) -- Anna Chakvetadze was not in the mood to endure another upset.

The top-seeded Russian rolled past Italy's Francesca Schiavone, 6-0, 6-2, in second round action at the $600,000 Generali Ladies Linz tournament Wednesday.

One of the top four seeds to receive a first-round bye, Chakvetadze is playing in her first tournament since a disappointing second-round loss to compatriot Dinara Safina at Moscow two weeks ago.

Additionally, prior to breaking into the win column at this final event of the European indoor season, she had been 1-3 in three tournaments since a semifinal appearance at the U.S. Open.

Despite the recent rough patch, Chakvetadze on Tuesday became the sixth player to qualify for the singles event at the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships.

Against Schiavone, the world No. 7 left little doubt that her mini-slump was at an end. Chakvetadze was never broken during the 47-minute match, while breaking her opponent on five occassions.

A 20-year-old Moscow native, Chakvetadze heads a draw that opened with seven of the top-20 ranked players.

Safina, who is seeded fourth, opened her tournament with a 6-2, 6-2 win against Italian Karin Knapp in the only other second-round match on Wednesday.

The world No. 16, Safina is seeking her second title of the season after winning the championship at the Gold Coast in Australia in her first tournament in January.

Fifth-seeded Nicole Vaidisova was challenged by wild card Flavia Pennetta in her first-round match Wednesday, but escaped with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) victory.

Vaidisova is seeking her first title of the season and has not appeared in a final in 2007. The 18-year-old Czech, who missed almost two months this summer due to a viral illness, has not won on Tour since May 2006 at Strasbourg.

Seven seed Tatiana Golovin endured a frustrating first-round loss as she was forced to retire against Greece's Eleni Daniilidou due to a right knee injury. The Frenchwoman was trailing, 6-4, 0-1, when she conceded the match.

Golovin had been playing some of her best tennis of year in recent weeks. She came into this event fresh off an impressive showing in Zurich, where she lost in the final to world No. 1 Justine Henin on Sunday. The 19-year-old also reached the final at Stuttgart earlier this month, but lost to Henin there as well.

Unseeded Tamira Paszek of Switzerland also advanced to the second round with a 6-3, 7-5 win against Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues.

First prize is $88,265.






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