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King wins all-American matchup PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 29 March 2008

After a tough 2007 season, Vania King got herself back even with fellow American Meghann Shaughnessy, report agencies.

A qualifier, King captured her match with Shaughnessy, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, in the first round of the $3.45 million Sony Ericsson Open on Wednesday.

A Tier I hardcourt tournament that gave an opening-round bye to the 32 seeded players, King’s all-American showdown with Shaughnessy in the evening capped off a day with 16 matches.

Improving to 2-2 against her countrywoman after dropping both meetings last season, the 19-year-old King rallied from a set down by winning 10 of the last 13 games. Winning in the first round here for the third straight year, King advanced to face No. 11 Patty Schnyder in the second round.

The Swiss player beat King in their only previous meeting last year on the claycourt at Istanbul. Another U.S. player able to move on Wednesday was Ashley Harkleroad, who topped Emmanuelle Gigliardi of Switzerland, 6-4, 6-3. The 22-year-old next will meet No. 23 Virginie Razzano of France.

Veteran Jill Craybas was not so lucky, dropping a hard-fought 6-4, 0-6, 7-6 (8-6) decision to Marta Domachowska of Poland. The loss snapped Craybas’ streak of five consecutive opening-round wins in this event. Next up for Domachowska will be another American in No. 6 Venus Williams. In other notable first-round results, German Angelique Kerber topped Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan, 7-5, 6-1.

The 20-year-old next will face top-seeded Justine Henin in the second round. The world No. 1, Henin will be playing for the first time in a month when she squares off with Kerber.

The Belgian has been off since a surprising loss to Italy’s Francesca Schianove in the quarterfinals at Dubai on February 28. The 25-year-old Henin, who already has claimed titles this year in Sydney and her native Belgium, boasts a match record of 12-2.

The second seed here is Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic, who comes to Miami after beating Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-4, 6-3, in the Pacific Life Open final on Sunday. It was the sixth career title and first of the year for the 20-year-old Ivanovic, who was the runner-up to Maria Sharapova at the Australian Open.

Also Wednesday, Edina Gallovits of Romania rolled past Czech Klara Zakopalova, 6-4, 6-1, to set up a meeting with defending champion and No. 8 Serena Williams in the second round.In last year’s final, Serena Williams rallied to defeat Henin, 0-6, 7-5, 6-3, for her 28th career title.

She added another victory earlier this month at Bangalore, where she posted a 7-5, 6-3 win over Schnyder in the final. Maria Sharapova withdrew from the event on Saturday, citing fatigue and a shoulder injury.

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