Top-seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia and defending champion Jelena Jankovic of Serbia advanced to the second round of the Kremlin Cup on Tuesday.
Zvonareva beat Ioana Raluca Olaru of Romania 6-2, 6-2 while Jankovic ousted Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan 6-4, 5-7, 6-1.
In the men’s tournament, Wayne Odesnik of the United States rallied to upset second-seeded Victor Hanescu of Romania 5-7, 7-5, 6-4, while fellow American Robby Ginepri outlasted fourth-seeded Igor Andreev of Russia, 6-3, 6-7 (9), 7-6 (1).
The seventh-ranked Zvonareva, runner-up last year, broke Olaru two times in each set.
“Frankly speaking, it was a tough match,” Zvonareva said. “It’s my first tournament indoors and on a different surface. Olaru is young but a very tough opponent, and I think, my experience helped me to win today.”
The second-seeded Jankovic took the first set after Shvedova netted twice to give her the 10th game. Shvedova, who eliminated Jankovic in the second round of the U.S. Open in September, had an early break in the second before the Serb leveled at 4-4, capitalizing on her opponent’s sloppy play.
But Shvedova broke again for a 6-5 lead before serving home the set.
Jankovic then dominated the decider, winning five consecutive games to secure the win.
“Today, I knew what to expect from her (Shvedova),” Jankovic said. “I went out there knowing what she does – she serves well and she hits some balls well. It took me some time to get into the match and get used to the balls and the court. And I’m just happy I was able to win the match.”
In the second round, Jankovic will face Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic, while Zvonareva will play Bulgarian qualifier Tsvetana Pironkova.
The 98th-ranked Odesnik saved a match point in the 10th game of the second set, and then broke Hanescu in the fifth game of the third set.
“There were a lot of changes in the match,” Odesnik said. “I was up a break twice in the first set but I kept fighting even if I lost it. I was mentally strong today and stayed with him the whole match.”
The 27th-ranked Hanescu, who lost to Robin Soderling in the first round of the Shanghai Masters last week, said he had problems with the indoor hard court.
“The surface is slower than last week and I struggled adjusting to it,” Hanescu said. “I don’t have so much confidence at the moment, I lost first round to top players in the last couple of weeks.”
French veteran Fabrice Santoro, seeded seventh, rallied to beat Wimbledon junior champion Andrey Kuznetsov 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.
The 20th edition of the dual ATP and WTA Kremlin Cup has a weakened women’s draw because seven of the world’s top players have already qualified for next week’s season-ending WTA Championships in Doha and have opted to skip the Moscow tournament.
Jankovic, Zvonareva and Agnieszka Radwanska lead the women’s draw and will compete for the remaining spot in Doha.
The seventh-ranked Nikolay Davydenko, fresh from winning the Shanghai Masters on Sunday, tops the men’s draw. He is scheduled to face Marat Safin in the first round on Wednesday.