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Last Updated: Friday, 14 October 2005, 14:56 GMT 15:56 UK
Sharapova ousted in Kremlin Cup
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova's first senior tournament on Russian soil ended in disappointment as she lost to Dinara Safina in the Kremlin Cup quarters.

The top seed staged a superb fightback in the third set, recovering from 5-1 down to 5-5, but Safina won the next two games for a 1-6 6-4 7-5 victory.

Sharapova won the first set in just 31 minutes but Safina clawed her way back.

Safina said: "She didn't give me a thing at the start. I almost cried - I didn't want to lose a match like that."

Sharapova insisted she had played better than her previous match but was full of admiration for her opponent.

"Safina was playing very good as I expected," she said.

"When I was trailing 5-1 in the last set I just relaxed and played my tennis. But in the deciding moment I lost my chance and failed to win."

Elsewhere in the draw, Mary Pierce fought back from 0-6 down in the final-set tie-break to beat Elena Likhovtseva 7-5 4-6 7-6 (8-6).

"At 6-0 up, Elena looked nervous," said third seed Pierce.

"She started to play short and I received easy balls. If she played in the match the way she played a tiebreaker, I could have won match 6-0, 6-0.

"Maybe she was waiting for my mistake. But I just capitalised on those opportunities she gave me."

Italy's Francesca Schiavone continued her good form, following up a win over Amelie Mauresmo by beating eighth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3 6-1.


SEE ALSO
Mauresmo crashes out in Moscow
13 Oct 05 |  Tennis


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