Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:01
A champion at low-profile events at Acapulco and Vina del Mar earlier this year, Pennetta legitimised her top-20 standing last week as she advanced to her first grand slam quarter-final at the US Open.
The world number 16, who defeated former number one Amelie Mauresmo en route to the last eight, saw her impressive run at Flushing Meadows end at the hands of fifth-ranked Dinara Safina.
One of three top-20 players at this Tier III hardcourt event along with top-seeded Daniela Hantuchova and number two seed Patty Schnyder, Pennetta will face Russia’s Anastasia Rodionova in the second round.
Fourth-seeded Nadia Petrova had few problems getting past Japan’s Aiko Nakamura, 6-3 6-1, in her opening match on Tuesday.
“I felt comfortable all the way through,” Petrova said. “I even felt good physically.
“I’m very happy about that, because the other days I’ve been here were quite heavy, adjusting to the weather. I moved well, I kept the concentration very well from the beginning until the end of the match. So I’m very happy with my performance.”
The 26-year-old Russian captured her first title since February 2007 last month at Cincinnati, but was ousted by Pennetta in the third round at the US Open.
Petrova will try to take another step toward a potential rematch with Pennetta in the final here when she faces Italy’s Tathiana Garbin in the second round.
The upset of the day came courtesy of American Jill Craybas, who rallied past eighth-seeded Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak, 3-6 6-3 6-2.