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Schiavone tops Date Krumm in third round

by Hiroki Noda

Kyodo News

Kimiko Date Krumm’s strong run at the Pan Pacific Open ended in the third round Wednesday with a 6-3, 6-3 loss to French Open champion Francesca Schiavone.

The 40-year-old Date Krumm, who upset defending champion Maria Sharapova and Daniela Hantuchova in the previous two rounds, had her serve broken five times by the fifth-seeded Italian at Ariake Tennis Forest Park.

Schiavone will play either third-seeded Russian Jelena Jankovic or Kaio Kanepi of Estonia in the quarterfinals.

Date Krumm broke Schiavone’s serve in the first game, but the world No. 8 broke right back and went on to take a 5-1 lead en route to serving out the opening set in 45 minutes.

In the second set, the first six games went on serve before Schiavone dominated the final three games, winning 12 of the last 14 points.

“In the beginning I broke her serve and the next game I had (three) game points but I couldn’t get the game,” said Date Krumm, the 1995 Pan Pacific Open champion and former world No. 4.

“She is a very tough player, very tough mentally,” Date Krumm said of her sometime training partner. “She knows how to play against me. She used a lot of spin and made me run very wide.

“In the second set, also, I kept moving my feet, but she was so good. I couldn’t do anything any more. I think she was perfect.”

Date Krumm earned 10 break points in the match, but could only convert two.

“It was a tough match because she hits the ball very flat and the ball stays very low and doesn’t bounce,” Schiavone said. “In the first set, I was leading 4-1 but every point was close.

“We were fighting for every single point and every game was very close, with lots of deuces. I think in the second set when I broke for 4-3, that was when I knew I could win.”

In other third-round matches, Vera Zvonareva, this year’s Wimbledon and U.S. Open runnerup, cruised to a 6-4, 6-0 victory over Roberta Vinci of Italy.

Elena Dementieva prevailed in another Russian-Italian affair, beating Flavia Pennetta 6-4, 6-2.

Victoria Azarenka of Belarus advanced when Marion Bartoli of France retired with an illness after dropping the first set 6-2.