Suarez upsets Safina in Acura Classic

July 31, 2006 09:41 PM
Paola Suarez by 373 x 374

CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) -- Paola Suarez upset 15th-ranked Dinara Safina 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 Monday in the first round of the Acura Classic.

Suarez, ranked 55th in the world, bounced back from losing the first set to take control of the match against her ninth-seeded opponent, one of 10 Russians in the event.

Most of the top seeds begin play Tuesday in a tournament that features six of the world's top 10 players, including No. 2 Kim Clijsters of Belgium.

No. 12 seed Flavia Pennetta of Italy defeated Lisa Raymond of the United States, 7-5, 6-3 in the featured night match. Ana Ivanovic, the 14th seed from Serbia and Montenegro, was scheduled to face Japan's Akiko Morigami later Monday night.

Spanish qualifier Virginia Ruano Pascual surprised Elena Likhovtseva 6-4, 6-3 in another first-round match. Ruano Pascual, one of eight players from the qualifying tournament to gain entry into the main draw, beat her Russian counterpart with a steady performance. Ruano Pascual, 32, is ranked 80th compared to Likhovtseva's No. 30 ranking.

Jelena Jankovic of Serbia and Montenegro beat No. 16 seed Maria Kirilenko of Russia, 6-1, 6-4. Jankovic dominated in the first set before rebounding from a 4-1 deficit in the second.

Qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko of the Ukraine defeated 14-year-old Coco Vandeweghe, 6-4, 6-2. Vandeweghe, the niece of former UCLA and NBA star Kiki Vandeweghe, is a local player who gained a wild card into the tournament.

In other first-round matches, Finland's Emma Laine defeated Vania King of the United States, 6-4, 6-2; qualifier Meilen Tu beat fellow American Laura Granville 6-4, 1-6, 6-2; Jamea Jackson of the United States beat Argentina's Mariana Diaz-Oliva 4-6, 6-2, 6-4; and Russian qualifier Vasilisa Bardina defeated Meng Yuan of China, 6-4, 6-2.