Tennis: Kournikova's crowd sees red
Thursday 22 October 1998
The 17-year-old Russian, ranked 12th in the world, double-faulted 20 times in a surprise defeat to Silvia Farina, the Italian well below her in the world rankings, in the Kremlin Cup. She left the Centre Court of the Olympiisky Sports Complex in Moscow to the angry whistles of the crowd after disappointing her fans with an array of unforced errors, double- faults and apparent lack of effort.
Kournikova, seeded No 6, dropped the first set, 7-6. She recovered to take the second set 6-4 and level the match, but lost her composure and succumbed without a fight, losing the deciding set 1-6.
It was Kournikova's first defeat since early last year to a player ranked outside the world's top 15, though her form has been on the slide recently. A week ago in Zurich, she served 17 double-faults to lose in the first round of the European Championships.
Kournikova, who now lives and trains in Florida, dropped out of the top 10 after tearing ligaments in her right thumb.
The teenager was not the only seeded player to lose yesterday. Chanda Rubin, of the United States, defeated the eighth-seeded Romanian, Irina Spirlea, in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3.
In other matches in Moscow, the Belgian left-hander, Sabine Appelmans beat Elena Dementieva 6-4, 6-4, while the fifth-seeded Mary Pierce beat last year's Kremlin Cup runner-up, Ai Sugiyama, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4. Sandrine Testud, seeded No 7, beat her French compatriot, Nathalie Dechy, 6-2, 6-2.
Goran Ivanisevic was another highly ranked player to fall yesterday. The Croatian was one set up against the Slovakian, Jan Kroslak, in the Czech Indoor Tournament in Ostrava, but slumped in the next and lost the third-set tie-break to complete a 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 victory for Kroslak.
Mark Philippoussis was also less than happy in Ostrava yesterday. The sixth-seeded Australian lost 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 to the German player, David Prinosil in the Czech Indoor.
Andre Agassi, though, was one notable name who could be content with his day's work yesterday. The resurgent American beat Kent Carlsen, of Denmark, 6-4, 6-4.
Latest in Sport
Petr Cech demands talks over Chelsea future as Thibaut Courtois begs him to stay – as mentor
Angel Di Maria: Manchester United to push ahead with £50m move for Real Madrid winger
Marcos Rojo to Manchester United: Sporting Lisbon confirm deal with Nani heading back to Portugal on loan
Arsenal player ratings vs Besiktas
Besiktas vs Arsenal player ratings: Alexis Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Calum Chambers - who was the Gunners star man?
- 1 The way the police have treated Cliff Richard is completely unacceptable
- 3 Michael Brown shooting: Ferguson police shoot and kill second young black man
- 5 Reading Festival 2014: Tesco branch replaces salad and potatoes for Jagermeister and vodka
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
£35000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Principal Arboricu...
£17000 - £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Trainee Digital Fo...
Highly Competitive Salary + Commission: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL BASED - DEALING ...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glob...