Kournikova crashes out

Mary Pierce rallied from a set and a break down to subdue Anna Kournikova and reach the quarter-finals of the WTA Tour Chase Championships in New York.

Mary Pierce rallied from a set and a break down to subdue Anna Kournikova and reach the quarter-finals of the WTA Tour Chase Championships in New York.

Kournikova never looked better than in the first set, but by the end of the night she had never looked worse.

Up a set and a break, Kournikova failed to close out the match and endured a monumental third-set collapse as the fifth-seeded Frenchwoman pulled out a 6-7 (3/7) 7-6 (7/5) 6-0 victory.

Barbara Schett was a hit in her Madison Square Garden debut.

Smashing forehands, backhands and overheads, the seventh-seeded Schett easily dominated veteran Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario 6-1, 6-4 Monday night in the opening match of the season-ending Chase Championships of the WTA Tour.

Schett, a 23-year-old from Austria, ripped winners from all over the court in the 12 minutes it took to play the first five games of the match. The small crowd finally had something to cheer when Sanchez-Vicario held from 30 in the sixth game to finally get on the scoreboard.

Nineteen minutes after Schett had struck the first serve of the night, she had wrapped up the opening set.

Sanchez-Vicario, who just barely made it into this elite 16-player field, finally found a few openings in the second set, holding her first three serves, two from deuce. After she lost her serve in the seventh game, she broke right back to level the set 4-4.

Two games later, the Spaniard, who will turn 28 next month, had been eliminated from her 12th Garden tournament. It was her earliest exit since 1995, and only her third first-round loss on the blue carpet.

"It went too fast," Sanchez-Vicario said. "All the games, you know, went on her side really fast."

In the quarterfinals, Schett will face the winner of Wednesday night's match between third-seeded Venus Williams of the united States and Spain's Conchita Martinez, a battle Williams is heavily favored to win.

"She's serving really well," Schett said of Williams. "Especially indoors, it's going to be harder to return her serve well, I think. This is going to be the biggest problem. But I have nothing to lose. And she has to win first."

The first round continues Tuesday morning when sixth-seeded Nathalie Tauziat of France takes on South Africa's Amanda Coetzer. In the evening, U.S. Open champion Serena Williams of the United States, seeded fourth, will take on Belgium's Dominique Van Roost and top-seeded Martina Hingis will begin the defense of her title against Sandrine Testud of France.

Wednesday's matches will complete the opening round. In a day match, No. 8 Julie Halard-Decugis of France takes on Germany's Anke Huber, while the night matches pit No. 2 Lindsay Davenport of the United States, the Wimbledon champion, against Amelie Mauresmo of France, followed by Venus Williams-Martinez.

The winner of Sunday's title match earns $500,000.

Sport
The sun rises over St Andrews golf course, but will it be a new dawn for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club?
sportAnd it's Yes to women (at the R&A)
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
PROMOTED VIDEO
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Travel
travelWhy Japan's love hotels are thriving through an economic downturn
Arts and Entertainment
Rapper Jay Z performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2008
musicSinger sued over use of the single-syllable sample in 'Run This Town'
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen A/W 2014
fashionPolitics aside, tartan is on-trend again this season
Caption competition
Caption competition
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.

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week