Two Canadians defeated at Rogers Cup

BRIAN DALY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:31 AM ET

MONTREAL - The home crowd at the Rogers Cup went home disappointed Monday evening as both Canadians went down to defeat in showcase matches at Uniprix Stadium.

Aleksandra Wozniak of Montreal lost in straight sets to Switzerland's Timea Bacsinszky while Laval native Stephanie Dubois battled it out against Czech Klara Zakopalova before bowing out 4-6, 7-5 and 6-3. Zakopalova advances to meet defending Rogers Cup champion Elena Dementieva of Russia in the second round.

Wozniak's homecoming was brief as Canada's top-ranked women's player couldn't generate power on her groundstrokes and was bounced 6-3, 6-2.

The 22-year-old was simply outclassed by Bacsinszky, who recorded 16 second-service points to Wozniak's five.

Her Swiss opponent also beat her 5-1 on break points and advances to play the winner of Tuesday's all-Russia matchup between 11th-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova and unseeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

The near-capacity home crowd cheered and chanted in support of Wozniak throughout the match but it wasn't enough to spur her on and she bowed out in 64 minutes.

"The ambience was great," Wozniak said of the crowd that cheered her every point.

"It's always difficult to lose, even moreso here (in Montreal)."

Wozniak, ranked No. 53 in the world, had nearly pulled out of the Rogers Cup after missing the previous two tournaments because of tendinitis in her right wrist.

She said the pain is gone, but the lack of game action made the difference.

"I tried to do as best I could dealing with . . . the lack of matches," she told reporters. "I tied to come on the court with good energy (but) overall it was just a lack of practices."

Two more Canadians will see action on Tuesday. Valerie Tetreault of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., takes on Marion Bartoli of France in an early-afternoon draw while Heidi El Tabakh faces Alisa Kleybanova of Russia, also in the afternoon.

In earlier opening-round action on centre court, former world No. 1 Dinara Safina of Russia beat Germany's Andrea Petkovic in straight sets.

Safina, who is trying to climb back from No. 70 in the WTA rankings, moves on to face the winner of a second-round match Tuesday between Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic and Russia's Nadia Petrova.

In the previous match, world No. 19 Arvane Rezai of France advance by outlasting unseeded Czech challenger Petra Kvitova in a tiebreaker.

Rezai, seeded No. 16 in the tournament, had the mainly French-speaking crowd behind her as she dispatched the unseeded Kvitova 6-7 (1), 7-5 6-3 in a match that lasted two hours 26 minutes.

Rezai, 23, left centre court to a chorus of cheers. She will take on the winner of a match Tuesday between two unseeded competitors, China's Zheng Zie and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia.

Monday's opening-round matches were pushed back 75 minutes because of morning showers, but the afternoon matches were played to lovely, sunny weather.

The first centre-court match of the day saw Wimbledon quarterfinalist Kaia Kanepi of Estonia upset 14th-seeded Shahar Peer of Israel 6-3, 6-3.

In other opening-round action, qualifier Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic upended Sara Errani of Italy and now has to face the tournament's top-seeded player and former world No. 1, Serbia's Jelena Jankovic.

Other top seeds at the Rogers Cup are Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki, ranked No. 2 in the world; Kim Clijsters of Belgium, ranked No. 4; and French Open champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy, ranked No. 7.

The world's top-ranked player, Serena Williams, skipped the Rogers Cup because of a foot injury. Her No. 5-ranked sister, Venus Williams, pulled out because of a left knee injury while Russia's Maria Sharapova withdrew on the eve of the tournament because of a foot injury.


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