Kolkata, Sep 20 (UNI) The last flicker of hope of an Indian challenge was snuffed out by Britain's Anne Keothovang who mauled Sunitha Rao in straight sets 6-3,6-2, even as second seed Daniela Hantuchova and seventh seed Italian Flavia Pannetta sailed through in their respective ties at the into the WTA Sony Ericsson Sunfeast Open here today.
Anne played an all-round better game taming the Indian wildcard in straight sets. To add top her woes the World no 211 had a series of unforced errors to further spoil her chances.
Anne was always attacking her service game and Sunitha came under a lot of pressure conceding the fourth and eighth games to lose the first set 3-6.
In the second set, Sunitha and Anne traded a break in the third and fourth games, but Anne thereafter broke Sunitha in the fifth and seventh games to seal the fate of the match.
After the match, Sunitha said, ''I am disappointed. I think I had too many errors.'' Daniela, who is in regal touch ever since her shock ouster from the US Open, took less than an hour to dismiss Russian Anastasia Rodionova. Rodionova 6-2,6-1, who had no answer to the rich ensemble of backhand, forehand and drop-volleys mixed with scurrying pace and lethal court coverage.
The match began on an even note with the duo holding serve till the fifth game. But, from then on the match changed sharply. In the sixth game Hantuchova broke free of Rodionova's forehands, coming to the net and meeting them with drop-volleys and spoiled any chance of the Russian coming to the net with overhead lobs. The result four games on a trot.
To make matters worse for Rodionova, a contact lens forced a medical time-out. In the second set, Hantuchova had the court well mapped for herself, never allowing Rodionova take the advantage. She ruled the court. Rodionova sneaked in to take the fourth game and saving the blushes of being blanked out.
After the match the lanky Slovak said, ''At this moment I'm doing all the right things. Hope this continues for the rest of the tournament.'' ''I have been working on my service and think its working my way. I am focused on my game," she added.
In another match, playing Uzbek Agul Amanmuradova, Pennetta, a baseliner to the core, kept firing forehands and double handed backhands and the lanky Uzbek kept hopping around like a cat on a hot tin roof. Before she could get the measure of things, Pennetta sealed the first set 6-1.
In the second set Agul did try to show some resistance and actually took the set to 3-3, before Pennetta opend her up to effect a break to go 5-3 up. The next game was cakewalk. Game set and match 6-1, 6-3.
In the first match Poutchek fought off her quick-fire temper to get past Swedish Sofia Arvidsson in straight sets 6-3, 6-1 in a second round tie.
While Poutchek is now enjoying her highest ever WTA rank at 100 and is on a roll, Arvidsson has slumped to 149 from 63 and it showed.
Poutchek took the last four games of the first set on a trot to take the first set 6-1.
The second set was meek submission as a barrage of forehands from Tatiana sunk the Scandinavian. Except, the third game shere she fought off two deuce to hold serve, Tatiana lapped up all and finished off the set in just over 25 minutes.
American teenager Vania King, who created the biggest upset of the Sunfeast Open on Tuesday by defeating top seed Marion Bartoli, failed to keep up the good work and tamely gave in to Mariya Koryttseva of Ukraine 1-6, 2-6 today.
In a doubles' tie Vania King and Alla Kudryavtseva beat Delhi girl Tara Iyer and Aleksandra Wozniak 6-1, 5-7, 10-4 UNI