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Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Rodionova second player defaulted from match on WTA Tour

Associated Press

MASON, Ohio -- Anastasia Rodionova became the second player on the WTA Tour to be disqualified from a match when she smacked a ball Tuesday night toward fans rooting for her opponent at the Cincinnati Women's Open.

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Angelique Kerber was handed a 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 victory when Rodionova hit a ball in the direction of three fans at one end of the court in a display of frustration after she lost the first game of the third set. The ball hit halfway up the wall in front of the stands where the fans were sitting and caromed back onto the court.

Earlier, she had complained about fans applauding for Kerber during points.

While the players were changing sides, the umpire called for tournament referee William Coffey. After a brief discussion, Coffey defaulted Rodionova for "unsportsmanlike conduct," he said.

"I'm shocked," Rodionova said. "I still don't understand why they defaulted me. I'm really upset. I've never seen in my life anyone defaulted in this situation. I had no warning. I didn't hit the ball at anybody. I didn't swear at anybody. I didn't throw my racket."

In the 36-year history of the tour, it is believed that there has been only one other default in the main draw of a tournament, a WTA Tour spokesman said. Irina Spirlea was disqualified in 1996 at Palermo for directing abusive language at an official.

In other matches, top-seeded Anna Chakvetadze and No. 2 Patty Schnyder reached the second round following a 53-minute rain delay before the start of the evening session.

Chakvetadze lost the first four games before storming past Tatiana Poutchek 6-4, 6-0 in a match that lasted just under an hour. Schnyder won the last four games of the second set to advance with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Monique Adamczak.

"I was scared," said the eighth-ranked Chakvetadze, who is making her first appearance in the tournament. "I just didn't feel like I was ready to play. I felt like I was sleeping on the court the first few games."

Fifth-seeded Aiko Nakamura was upset by qualifier Anna Tatishvili.

Earlier in the day, Jill Craybas took advantage of a surprise seeding and easily defeated Alexa Glatch 6-2, 6-4.

Craybas, who didn't get to her hotel until 1 a.m. Tuesday after playing in a charity event in Newport, R.I., found out during her travels that she'd received the ninth seed after two seeded players were forced to withdraw.

"I called to see who I was playing, and [a tournament official] said, 'Oh, by the way, you're seeded,'" said the 66th-ranked Craybas, who was originally scheduled to play Schnyder. "It's always nice to be seeded. That way, you don't play a seeded player in the first round."

Elena Vesnina was also among seeded players advancing to the second round. The sixth-seeded Vesnina defeated Angelika Bachmann 6-3, 6-4. Nakamura wasn't as fortunate, losing to the 17-year-old Tatishvili 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4).

Two other qualifiers also moved into the second round with straight-set upsets. Anda Perianu eliminated Melinda Czink 6-3, 6-2, and Brenda Schultz-McCarthy defeated Catalina Castano 6-2, 6-4.

Also advancing were Bethanie Mattek with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Iryna Kuryanovich; Varvara Lepchenko, a 6-2, 6-2 winner against Kirsten Flower; Akgul Amanmuradova with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Connie Hsu; and Olga Govortsova with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over Alina Jidkova.