Schnyder beats Raymond in opening round of Pilot Pen

August 21, 2005 05:30 PM
Associated Press Writer

Patty Schnyder needed three sets to beat Lisa Raymond in New Haven© Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) -- Patty Schnyder advanced to the second round of the Pilot Pen Tournament Sunday, beating wild-card Lisa Raymond 6-3, 1-6, 6-2.

Schnyder, ranked No. 12 in the world, eliminated Raymond's chance of repeating last year's run to the semifinals of the $600,000 tournament.

Raymond had trouble picking up the serve of the left-hander and fell to 0-6 overall against the sixth-seeded Schnyder.

"It's a ball trajectory that you're not used to,'' Raymond said. "She disguises it so well. She constantly keeps you guessing.''

Down 4-2 in the first set, Raymond had a chance to keep it competitive, battling back from 30-0 to force deuce. She let two break points slip away, however, allowing Schnyder to take the game.

"In the end, it comes down to a few big points,'' Schnyder said. "If you make them, you win.''

Schnyder took a 3-1 lead in the third set and Raymond then lost an opportunity to keep it close, blowing three consecutive break points.

Raymond, who advanced to last year's doubles final with partner Martina Navratilova, had planned to play a qualifying match this weekend. Instead she earned a wild-card entry because of her semifinal performance last year, but noted she probably would have had a better draw had she played a qualifier.

In other first-round matches Sunday, Alicia Molik, of Australia, will face Gisela Dulko, of Argentina.

Most of the top-seeded players, including Lindsay Davenport and Amelie Mauresmo, have first-round byes. Top-ranked Davenport, who has missed several weeks with a back injury, expects to use the Pilot Pen as a tuneup for the U.S. Open.

First-round play in the men's tournament begins Monday. Nikolay Davydenko, ranked No. 7 in the world, is the top seed, followed by No. 15 Richard Gasquet.

Defending U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova withdrew from the tournament because of a back strain. Anastasia Myskina, who won the French Open in 2004, also withdrew because of a sprained left ankle.