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Sharapova eliminates Petrova at Toronto

MARIA Sharapova looked impressive in a 6-3, 6-4 win over No. 10 seed Nadia Petrova in the first round of the Rogers Cup yesterday.

Sharapova broke Petrova once in the first set and twice more in the second to run her record to eight wins and one loss against her fellow Russian opponent.

"I was the tougher one in the end. She had chances to make the match 5-all in the second, and it was good I finished it in two," Sharapova said. "I just hang tough no matter the score - not just with her, but with everyone else too."

Francesca Schiavone of Italy beat No. 15 seed Amelie Mauresmo 6-2, 3-6 in the Frenchwoman's first match since Wimbledon.

No. 13 seed Marion Bartoli was also eliminated with a 6-4, 6-3 loss to Alona Bondarenko, who is ranked 33rd.

Australian Samantha Stosur continued her run of good form with a hard-fought 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4) win over Canada's Heidi El Tabakh. Stosur will next meet sixth-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova.

In other matches, Japan's Ai Sugiyama defeated Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-4; Aravane Rezai beat fellow Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 6-4, 7-5; Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine topped Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer 7-6 (4) 6-2; Austrian Sybille Bammer eliminated Russian Anna Chakvetadze 3-6, 6-4, 6-2; Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska knocked off Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-3, 6-3; and Switxerland's Patty Schnyder defeated Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-2, 6-1.

Home town favorites Stephanie Dubois and Valerie Tetreault were elimated, losing 6-1, 6-2 to Italy's Roberta Vinci and 6-2, 6-4 to Hungary's Agnes Szavay respectively.

Third-seeded Venus Williams will open her tournament today with a second-round match against Bondarenko.


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