Kuznetsova upset; Clijsters wins, Pierce withdraws

August 11, 2005 02:30 AM
Svetlana Kuznetsova returns the ball to Eleni Daniilidou during their second-round match at the JPMorgan Chase Open© Harry How/Getty Images
CARSON, Calif. (AP) -- US Open champion and second-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova was upset Wednesday night in the second round of the JPMorgan Chase Open, which earlier lost No. 6 seed Mary Pierce to injury.

Kuznetsova of Russia fell to Eleni Daniilidou of Greece, 6-4, 6-4.

"If I keep playing like this, I can go home because I'm not going to win a match,'' Kuznetsova said afterward. "I can't get everything together.''

Former champion Kim Clijsters, the tournament's No. 5 seed, beat Karolina Sprem of Croatia, 6-2, 6-1.

Two other top-seeded Russians, No. 3 Elena Dementieva and No. 4 Nadia Petrova, also moved into the third round of the tournament that Clijsters won in the same week she reached No. 1 for the first time, in 2003.

Dementieva was a 6-4, 6-3 winner over Samantha Stosur of Australia. Petrova toppled Jill Craybas of the United States, 6-3, 6-1.

Clijsters, seeking her fifth title of the year, needed just 54 minutes to beat Sprem, who made numerous unforced errors.

"It was tough to find a good rhythm,'' Clijsters said. "She went for everything. We didn't have that many long rallies. You don't have to come up with your best shots; just make her play and wait for the errors.''

Pierce strained her right thigh muscle while practicing Tuesday and she withdrew because of persistent pain.

She said she would get treatment for the injury, which prevents her from pushing off her right leg while serving, and decide in a few days whether she will play at Toronto next week.

"I'm just really disappointed because I feel like I've been playing really well,'' said Pierce, who won the Acura Classic in Carlsbad last week. "Unfortunately, I'm not able to serve, and definitely if this is something that gets worse (by playing), I could be out for a while.''

Pierce became the fifth seeded player to withdraw from the $585,000 tournament.

Defending champion Lindsay Davenport, Serena Williams, Vera Zvonareva and Elena Likhovtseva are sidelined with injuries.

In other matches, No. 9 seed Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia beat Angela Haynes of the U.S., 4-6, 6-1, 6-2; Conchita Martinez of Spain upset No. 14 Gisela Dulko of Argentina, 6-4, 6-2; No. 16 Anna Chakvetadze of Russia eliminated Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic, 7-5, 4-6, 6-4; and qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko of the Ukraine outlasted Jide Zheng of China, 4-6, 7-5, 6-0. No. 12 seed Dinara Safina of Russia defeated Japanese qualifier Rika Fujiwara 6-2, 7-5; No. 13 Francesca Schiavone of Italy edged Shuai Peng of China, 4-6, 7-6 (1), 6-4; and No. 17 Marion Bartoli of France beat qualifier Tiantian Sun of China, 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-1.

Pierce was replaced in the draw by lucky loser Saori Obata of Japan, who lost to Italian qualifier Tathiana Garbin 6-4, 6-1. American Lisa Raymond defeated qualifier Aiko Nakamura of Japan 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3.