Anastasia Myskina overcame a spirited fight from China's Zheng Jie 6-3, 6-7 (7), 6-1 in the first round of the Dubai Women's Open on Monday.
updated: February 25, 2007 11:38 IST
Dubai:Former French Open champion Anastasia Myskina overcame a spirited fight from China's Zheng Jie 6-3, 6-7 (7), 6-1 in the first round of the Dubai Women's Open on Monday. Sixth-seeded Myskina committed nine double faults in a searching 2-hour, 17-minute exam by Zheng, who was still seeking her first win of the season. Myskina appeared after reaching the indoor semifinals at Tokyo and a two-week rest. "She is a fine player, and I am really happy to get a tough opening match in the tournament,'' Myskina said, adding, "I needed time to adjust to the change playing indoors in freezing conditions in Tokyo to outdoors here. The Russian has got as far as the quarterfinals in all four previous appearances in Dubai, but she'll face a tough second-round match against either wild card and 2001 champ Martina Hingis or Indian star Sania Mirza. Myskina advanced with two other Russians, Elena Likhovtseva and Vera Dushevina, and eighth-seeded Daniela Hantuchova. Likhovtseva defeated 2005 runner-up Jelena Jankovic of Serbia-Montenegro 7-5, 7-5. "Jelena was not playing as well as she played last year,'' Likhovtseva said. She will play defending champion and second-seeded Lindsay Davenport, who will be playing her second event of the year after a quarterfinal run at the Australian Open. "I am looking forward to the Davenport match. It will be tough, but I know she is playing after some time off because of an ankle injury and that should give me some advantage,'' Likhovtseva said. Dushevina was a comfortable 6-3, 6-1 winner over Marion Bartoli of France for a fifth straight time, and moves on to meet third-seeded compatriot Maria Sharapova. Hantuchova, a quarterfinalist a year ago, scraped through an error-strewn win over China's Li Na 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4). Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic beat Ai Sugiyama of Japan 6-2, 6-3. Safarova also beat Sugiyama last month en route to winning the Australian Women's Hardcourt title. (AP)