Published March 14, 2010
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Svetlana Kuznetsova had a succinct explanation after losing her opening match at the BNP Paribas Open.
"The tennis ball is perfect. I am not perfect," the top-seeded Russian said after a 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 loss to Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro in the second round Saturday.
Kuznetsova, who hadn't played in a month and had a first-round bye, made 69 unforced errors and double-faulted seven times against Suarez Navarro, who arrived here ranked No. 42 in the WTA Tour after reaching the semifinals at Acapulco last month.
"I feel good and the ball doesn't go where I want it to go, you know. I play there and it goes a different way. I'm like OK, I play tennis for like 17 years and I still cannot put this little ball in this huge court. It's frustrating. ... I'm not the worst player in the world, so definitely I have (the) expectation from myself to put a little bit more inside of the court."
"It's frustrating because I know I have the game," said Kuznetsova, ranked No. 3 overall. "I feel great. I do practice, play unbelievable and then I get to the match and I don't do much."
One of the problems, though, was that when Kuznetsova did put the ball in the court, Suarez Navarro usually hit it back. The defensive-minded Spaniard, a winner over Venus Williams in the 2009 Australian Open, found the slow hardcourt perfect for her game and hit only 14 winners (Kuznetsova had 34) in advancing to face No. 27 seed Agnes Szavay of Hungary in the third round.
Two-time champion Kim Clijsters of Belgium won her second-round match, beating Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic, 6-2, 6-1, and reigning champion Vera Zvonareva of Russia survived a challenge from 16-year-old American Sloane Stephens, winning 6-4, 7-5.
Reigning men's champion Rafael Nadal, the No. 3 seed, followed Clijsters on the court and worked his way to a 6-4, 6-4 win over German Rainer Schuettler, a semifinalist in 2003 but a qualifier this year.
In the late match, No. 2 Novak Djokovic of Serbia beat American Mardy Fish 6-1, 0-6 6-2 in a rematch of the 2008 final, also won by Djokovic.
Kuznetsova was the only women's seed to lose during the day session. No. 3 Victoria Azarenka, No. 6 Jelena Jankovic, No. 8 Samantha Stosur, No. 9 Flavia Pennetta and No. 13 Yanina Wickmayer also won in straight sets.
At night, two-time tournament champion Daniela Hantuchova (No. 21), former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic (24) and Dominika Cibulkova (26)were sent packing after straight-set losses.
On the men's side, No. 5 Nikolay Davydenko of Russia took a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Ernests Gulbis of Latvia and Fernando Verdasco (10) also advanced. Americans John Isner (15) and Sam Querrey (17) both won and will meet in the third round.
But No. 16 Gilles Simon of France was beaten, 7-5, 6-4, by qualifier Brian Dabul of Argentina and No. 8 Marin Cilic of Romania was upset, 7-6 (1), 6-0 by Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain.