Kirilenko exits in shock defeat, Ivanovic scrapes through to last eight

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Maria Kirilenko collapsed to what must be one of the most frustrating and stunning defeats of her career on Wednesday when she was defeated 1-6, 7-5, 6-4 by 560th-ranked qualifier Galina Voskoboeva in the second round of the PTT Pattaya Open.

The third seeded Russian dominated the opening set with her more aggressive play, despite being broken as early as the first game with a return off a second serve.

Kirilenko immediately recovered the break in the next game, winning the game to love.  A winning forehand then gave her a further break for 3-1 and after yet another break for 5-1.  She then served out the set without the loss of a point.

Russia’s Maria Kirilenko reacts after losing a point in the third set of her match with Galina Voskoboeva from Kazakhstan at the Dusit Thani Resort, Wednesday, Feb. 9.Russia’s Maria Kirilenko reacts after losing a point in the third set of her match with Galina Voskoboeva from Kazakhstan at the Dusit Thani Resort, Wednesday, Feb. 9.

The second set continued in the same manner, with Kirilenko swiftly breaking twice to build a 3-0 lead.  Voskoboeva managed to recover one of the breaks in the fourth game, but Kirilenko then broke to lead 5-2 with another winning forehand.

All she had to do then was serve out for victory, but she couldn’t do it.  Voskoboeva, with nothing to lose, had begun to be more aggressive and the tactic paid off as she broke for 3-5 and held her own serve.  Kirilenko served again for the match at 5-4 and held three match points at 40-0, but still it wasn’t over.  The Kazak broke again for 5-5, held at love to lead 6-5, and then broke Kirilenko again for the set.

The beginning of the final set saw Kirilenko break for 1-0 by forcing an error at the net, but her advantage was short-lived as Voskoboeva broke back to level at 3-3 and then claim a further and decisive break at 5-4 before winning on her second match point.

“The first set and until the score was 3-0 (in the second set) I was not in the game at all, and then I started to play better,” said Voskoboeva, who is returning to the game after missing seven months with a shoulder injury.  “Of course when you are 5-4 and 40-0 down you need luck as well, but I didn’t think about it was match point. I was just trying to play every ball.”

That wasn’t the end of the drama on that court, as second seed Ana Ivanovic was only three games into her match against American veteran Jill Craybas when the site was hit with a power cut.  Even that wasn’t the end of the drama.  She had already dropped her opening service game, and went on to lose the set 6-4.

Although the Serb then swept the second set 6-1 she still needed to save five break points, and in the third set she continued to struggle.  She twice lost a break of serve against the 36-year old before breaking again to lead 6-5.  This time she held on to her break to win 4-6, 6-1, 7-5.

Fifth seeded Italian Roberta Vinci had no difficulty in getting past Shuai Zhang of China, winning 7-5, 6-1, but Chinese sixth seed Shuai Peng struggled to overcome a gallant challenge from Britain’s Elena Baltacha, breaking for 5-4 in the final set and then serving out for a 2-6, 6-1 6-4 victory.

In Thursday’s matches, top seed Vera Zvonareva will face Nungnadda Wannasuk of Thailand while fourth seed Daniela Hantuchova takes on Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm.  The matches at the Dusit Thani start from 3 p.m. and tickets can be obtained at the stadium.

Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic returns the ball to Jill Craybas during her marathon match with the American that was interrupted by a power failure at the stadium.Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic returns the ball to Jill Craybas during her marathon match with the American that was interrupted by a power failure at the stadium.