Sharapova, Mauresmo bundled out of Moscow

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MOSCOW, Oct 11 (Reuters) Second seed Maria Sharapova was unceremoniously bundled out of the Kremlin Cup losing to Belarus's Victoria Azarenka 7-6 6-2 in the second round.

It was Sharapova's second successive defeat by an 18-year-old after the world number four went out of the third round of the US Open last month to Pole Agnieszka Radwanska.

In her first match in almost six weeks, Sharapova, who had been nursing a shoulder injury, looked a shadow of the player who won two grand slam titles as a teenager. She made 45 unforced errors and served seven double faults in a match lasting one hour 49 minutes yesterday.

It also marked the third year in a row that the Florida-based Russian's stay in Moscow has ended in disappointment. She was forced to pull out with a foot injury last year and was beaten in the quarter-finals in 2005.

Earlier, Russia's Vera Zvonareva recorded her first win over Amelie Mauresmo when she came from behind to beat the sixth-seeded Frenchwoman 4-6 6-3 6-4 in the first round.

After battling for over two hours, the unseeded Russian scored a decisive break in the ninth game of the third set before clinching the win at her first opportunity when the 11th-ranked Mauresmo hit a wild backhand on match point.

''Finally I was able to beat her, it feels great,'' said the 24th-ranked Zvonareva, who had lost her previous seven meetings with Mauresmo and will face Radwanska in round two.

SENT HOME Mauresmo's compatriot, fifth seed and Wimbledon finalist Marion Bartoli, was also sent home by unseeded Russian Vera Dushevina 2-6 6-0 6-4.

On a day of upsets, seventh seed Patty Schnyder of Switzerland was knocked out by another unseeded Russian Elena Dementieva 6-3 6-4.

In the quarter-finals, Dushevina will face top seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, who beat Argentina's Gisela Dulko 3-6 6-2 6-4, while Dementieva meets Azarenka.

In the men's draw, Britain's third seed Andy Murray, who reached the final at last week's Metz Open, made his Moscow debut in impressive style, crushing Russian teenager Evgeny Korolev 6-2 6-4 in the first round.

Fourth seed Paul-Henri Mathieu of France, who won his first professional title in Moscow five years ago, became the first player into the last eight with a straightforward 6-3 6-4 win over Russian wildcard Igor Kunitsyn.

Eighth seed Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany joined Mathieu after outlasting Croatian qualifier Marin Cilic 7-6 1-6 6-4.

Russia's second seed Mikhail Youzhny also advanced, seeing off Latvian teenager Ernests Gulbis 6-3 6-2 in the first round.

REUTERS BJR RAI1034

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