Li Na, whose WTA Championships status hangs in the balance, didn't help her cause today by losing in the first round of the Kremlin Cup. Li was defeated 6-4, 6-2 by Anna Chakvetadze, who said she thought Li might have been a bit stressed about the Championships, and Li agreed. Li is still in the running to go to Doha, but her first round loss today lowers her chance. She had a wild card into Moscow, and was also seeded third.
Moscow is traditionally a place with a big home court advantage, and it wasn't just Chakvetadze who came through. The quite talented, but sometimes shaky, Elena Vesnina upset 5th seed Flavia Pennetta 6-4, 2-6, 6-2.
The other victory of note was the defeat of Gisela Dulko by qualifier Zarina Diyas. I have seen Diyas play on clay, and though I've tried, I can't think of a more aggressive tour player. Diyas runs to the net and hits every type of volley in circumstances when other players would wait for the bounce. I was impressed when I saw her play because of her willingness to keep going forward.
In doubles, the streaky Bondarenko sisters were defeated 6-4, 3-6, 10-4 by Algul Amanmuradova and Darya Kustova.
In Luxembourg, all the seeds advanced today. Top seed and wild card Elena Dementieva defeated Peng Shuai 7-5, 7-6.