Chakvetadze breezes into 3rd round

August 2, 2007 10:01 AM
CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) -- Anna Chakvetadze began her pursuit of a third straight WTA tournament title with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Meghann Shaughnessy on Wednesday at the Acura Classic.

The Russian handled her American counterpart with little difficulty in her first match of the tournament. Chakvetadze will face Ai Sugiyama of Japan in the third round after the unseeded Sugiyama defeated No. 15 Sybille Bammer of Austria, 6-2, 7-6 (3).

The victory extended Chakvetadze's winning streak to 10 matches. The No. 3 seed has won 21 of 23 matches since the beginning of May.

"I do have confidence, but I feel I am tired as well. It's tough to play too much tennis, especially since last week I was playing doubles and singles,'' said Chakvetadze, who is playing doubles with Victoria Azarenka.

Chakvetadze, ranked No. 6 in the world, is attempting to add the Acura title to her two straight WTA tournament wins. She won last week at the Bank of the West Classic and in late June at the Ordina Open in the Netherlands.

"I'm not thinking about my victory last week,'' Chakvetadze said. "It's already past the time. I got the trophy, I put it in my room, and that's it.''

Chakvetadze's only losses since May were to Maria Sharapova at the French Open quarterfinals, and at Wimbledon in the round of 32 to Michaella Krajicek.

No. 1 seed Maria Sharapova looked sharp in her first action, a 6-1, 6-3 second-round win over Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand in the featured night match. Sharapova, ranked second in the world, broke Tanasugarn's serve twice early in the first set and took a 4-0 lead. The Russian, a two-time Grand Slam champ, was never threatened in the match.

"I felt pretty good. I served well, I thought I was moving well,'' said Sharapova, who has not played in a tournament since losing last month at Wimbledon in the round of 16.

"It's always strange in the first round,'' Sharapova said. "Some things in practice, you think are going really well. You just never know until you go out and play a match.''

No. 10 seed Venus Williams continued her strong play with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over France's Virginie Razzano. The former No. 1 player, who has taken both matches in straight sets, will meet sixth-seeded Daniela Hantuchova, a 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 winner over Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.

"I felt like I did make some errors,'' Williams said. "But I played very aggressive. I think she played really well. She played her best tennis. She didn't give me any points.''

Williams, the six-time Grand Slam champion, is coming off her fourth Wimbledon title last month. Williams believes she is getting closer to her elite level from prior years after an injury-filled 2006 season.

"I feel really motivated because more than anything I feel really relaxed,'' she said. "I think I'm playing actually better than Wimbledon.''

Also, No. 8 Dinara Safina of Russia was a 6-1, 6-4 winner over Camille Pin of France; ninth-seeded Elena Dementieva of Russia beat Germany's Angelique Kerber, 6-1, 6-2; No. 11 Patty Schnyder of Switzerland routed Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia 6-2, 6-0; and France's Tatiana Golovin, the No. 13 seed, beat Anne Kremer of Luxembourg, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2.

No. 14 seed Alona Bondarenko of the Ukraine and 16th-seeded Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic each lost second-round matches. Bondarenko dropped a 6-3, 6-1 match to Slovakia's Katarina Srebotnik and Safarova lost 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 to Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.