x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Zvonareva starts well

Vera Zvonareva caused a minor surprise in the opening match of the Sony Ericsson Championships by defeating Svetlana Kuznetsova.

DOHA // Vera Zvonareva caused a minor surprise in the opening match of the Sony Ericsson Championships by defeating her higher-rated Russian compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-3. At ninth in the world Zvonareva is the lowest ranked player at this event which offers record prize money in the women's game of $4.5million (Dh16m) and she had won only three of 10 previous meetings with Kuznetsova.

Her form coming into this tournament had been impressive, however, and she was quickly in control of the first of her three round-robin matches, breaking the former US Open champion's serve twice in a one-sided opening set. Zvonareva tottered briefly when on the brink of victory when she surrendered the service break she had gained in the second set. But another break of Kuznetsova in the next game gave her the opportunity to serve for the match and this time she made no mistake.

wjohnson@thenational.ae