Svetlana Kuznetsova maintained a perfect mark of 8-0 in opening-round matches at the Miami Masters, as the Russian top-seed defeated China’s Peng Shuai 6-2, 3-6, 6-4.
Kuznetsova spent less than two hours in earning victory over the number 65 who is only just back from appendicitis, which forced her to withdraw from February events in Pattaya City and Dubai. The seed has never lost in an opening match in Miami and won the title in 2006.
Peng has lost her last 12 matches against top five players. Kuznetsova was displeased with the narrow victory.
“I’m not thrilled because I was getting mad with myself and I was fighting with myself,” said the two-time Grand Slam champion. “I felt the ball very well and I felt my game, but I was up and down.
“It was on and off.” Polish number six Agnieszka Radwanska got through over Russian Ekaterina Makarova 7-5, 6-0 as seeded women took to the court for places in the third round.
But another pair of seeds crashed out in disappointment at Crandon Park.
Swiss Timea Bacsinszky kept up a personal best after losing in her first two Miami appearances as she stunned China’s Li Na 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3) in two-and-a-half hours, the winner firing seven aces and winning a final set tiebreaker.
Unfancied German Andrea Petkovic, ranked 44th, upset Italian tenth seed Flavia Pennetta 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 on a day when four Italian men also went out.
Kuznetsova’s victory was a morale booster after the Russian has suffered opening losses in her last tournament at Indian Wells, where she also headed the field.
The winner managed seven aces and broke five times on her way into a match against Hungarian Agnes Szavay, who humiliated Australian Alicia Molik 6-0, 6-0.
The 2008 French Open champion, Ana Ivanovic, won her first match since the Australian Open first round as she defeated Pauline Parmentier 6-4, 6-3.
The former number one now stands 58th after a fall in form.
“I played well today, I kept my composure and just stuck with what I’ve been working on, and I’ve been working hard,” said the Serb, who has struggled with her game for months and is now coached by Steffi Graf’s former mentor Heinz Gunthardt of Switzerland.
On the men’s side, German Michael Berrer advanced over Lukas Lacko of Slovakia 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 and fellow German Philip Petzschner beat American hope Ryan Sweeting 6-3, 6-1.