Qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko stuns Elena Dementieva in 2nd round at Pan Pacific Open

By Jim Armstrong, AP
Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dementieva upset in 2nd round at Pan Pacific Open

TOKYO — Third-seeded Elena Dementieva of Russia was ousted in the second round of the Toray Pan Pacific Open, losing 6-2, 6-7 (3), 6-1 to Ukraine qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko on Tuesday.

Dementieva is the latest highly ranked player to be upset in the second round after top-ranked and defending champion Dinara Safina lost to Taiwanese qualifier Chang Kai-chen, and second-seeded Venus Williams lost to Russian qualifier Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on Monday.

Four of the tournament’s five top seeds have been eliminated after No. 5 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova also lost Monday.

“I don’t know about the other players but I feel like I didn’t have enough time to recover after the U.S. Open,” Dementieva said. “It’s hard to get ready for such a big event like this and I just wish we had more time.”

Bondarenko broke Dementieva four times in the final set, including the last game when the Russian double faulted on match point.

Dementieva refused to blame the loss on her service game.

“There was nothing wrong with my serve, I was serving good today,” said Dementieva, who won here in 2006.

After fighting off three match points in the second set and winning the tiebreaker, Dementieva looked set to pull even with Bondarenko at 2-2 in the third set but Bondarenko’s shot was called in.

Dementieva protested the call but the score remained 2-1 and Bondarenko held to go up 3-1.

“I was trying to fight back all match,” Dementieva said. “I tried to make a break at 2-all and there was a bad call. I’m really surprised there is no challenge system for a tournament this big.”

Bondarenko will play Li Na in the third round after the Chinese player posted a 7-5, 6-0 win over Russia’s Vera Dushevina.

In other second round matches, former No. 1 Maria Sharapova continued her comeback from injury with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Australia’s Samantha Stosur, Russian Alisa Kleybanova defeated sixth-seeded compatriot Vera Zvonareva 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, and No. 8 seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus earned a 6-1, 6-1 win over China’s Zheng Jie.

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