Injured Pierce hobbles out of Moscow

Ai Sugiyama upset first-seeded Mary Pierce 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in the second round of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow on Wednesday, with the Frenchwoman apparently troubled by back pains.

Ai Sugiyama upset first-seeded Mary Pierce 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in the second round of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow on Wednesday, with the Frenchwoman apparently troubled by back pains.

Sugiyama, ranked 27th in the World, kept a slow-moving Pierce, the defending champion, trapped in the corners with sharp cross-court backhands that the world No. 6 couldn't touch.

Pierce's troubles started early. She went down three games to one in the first set and Sugiyama didn't give her a point in the eighth game, closing out the set as the ball ricocheted wildly off Pierce's racket into the stands behind her.

In the second, Pierce scraped back from love-40 to hold her serve in the first game. But with her lower back apparently bothering her, Pierce then spent several minutes on the sideline on her stomach as her trainer massaged her.

Pierce broke Sugiyama in the fourth game and allowed no points in the fifth. In the ninth, she fought off deuce to put away the set on a Sugiyama net ball. After that, however, Pierce's fortunes again took a turn for the worse. She kept up until her fourth serve, when Sugiyama trapped her in the left corner with cross-court backhands and held Pierce at 15.

She made a final stand down three games to five, bringing Sugiyama to deuce on powerful baseline shots, but was run around the court and lost to a Sugiyama blast down the righthand side.

Seventh-seeded Sandrine Testud also was ousted early, losing in an upset to Silvia Farina of Italy 6-3, 6-4 in the first round. They battled it out in a match of long rallies, but Farina, currently ranked 25th in the world, took a 2-1 lead in the first set and then broke Testud in the ninth game to win 6-3. Both held until the 10th game of the second set when Testud, down 15-40, came up with an ace but then backhanded just wide to lose.

Third-seeded Julie Halard-Decugis outplayed Anne-Gaelle Sidot 6-2, 7-5 in an all-French second rounder.

Her countrywoman, Sarah Pitkowski, 23, defeated Natasha Zvereva of Belarus 6-4, 6-3.

Anke Huber of Germany struggled past Kimberly Po of the United States, a lucky-loser to the tournament and No. 127 in the WTA rankings, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4.

And American Lisa Raymond dispatched Elena Tatarkova Catalina Cristea and Ruxandra Dragomir defeated Nadejda Petrova and Patty Schnyder 3-6, 7-6, 6-0.

Results

First RoundSarah Pitkowski, France, def. Natasha Zvereva, Belarus, 6-4, 6-3.Silvia Farina, Italy, def. Sandrine Testud (7), France, 6-3, 6-4.Anke Huber, Germany, def. Kimberly Po, United States, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4.Lisa Raymond, United States, def Elena Tatarkova, Ukraine 6-3, 7-6

Second RoundAi Sugiyama, Japan, def Mary Pierce (1), France, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3Julie Halard-Decugis (3), France, def. Anne-Gaelle Sidot, France, 6-2, 7-5.Barbara Schett (2), Austria, def Anastasia Myskina, Russia, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Doubles First roundCatalina Cristea Romania and Ruxandra Dragomir, Romania def Nadejda Petrova, Russia and Patty Schnyder, Switzerland 3-6, 7-6, 6-0.

Sport
sportWWE latest including Sting vs Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing