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By Tennis Now | Monday, October 16, 2017

Katerina Siniakova

"If I keep playing like I played today I can beat any opponent," said Alize Cornet, who joined Katerina Siniakova reaching the Moscow second round.&

Photo credit: Kremlim Cup by Bank of Moscow

Alize Cornet and Katerina Siniakova both made strong starts in Moscow.

Cornet defeated Russian Olympic gold medal doubles champion Ekaterina Makarova, 6-3, 6-3.

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The 39th-ranked Frenchwoman beat Makarova for the second time in as many meetings.

Cornet broke serve six times stopping the Moscow native in 85 minutes.

“You know, it’s never easy to finish the match, especially because in the second set Ekaterina continued to play better and better, so I have to improve my performance too, in order of keeping up with her,” Cornet said afterward. “I am pleased, that I managed to win that tough match in two sets.”

Next up for Cornet is a second-round match with either Tianjin champion Maria Sharapova or Wimbledon semifinalist Magdalena Rybarikova. Cornet expects a tough match, but asserts she can be tougher.

“When I saw the draw I said to myself: Yeah, it will not be an easy draw,” Cornet said. “But on the other hand they are returning from the tournaments, so they will be tired. And if I keep playing like I played today I can beat any opponent.”

Sharapova won her first title in 29 months in Tianjin yesterday and accepted a Moscow wild card.

"Obviously, coming there with a title means a lot, but I really do want to finish strong," Sharapova said. 

Siniakova won 90 percent of her first-serve points demolishing Donna Vekic, 6-0, 6-2 in 49 minutes.

Siniakova cruised through a shutout set in 20 minutes and never looked back. She will play the winner of the all-Russian clash between Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Daria Kasatkina in round two.

Lesia Tsurenko saved five set points in the 12th game of the first set, fending off Christina McHale, 7-6 (4), 6-3.

Navigating a near 90-minute first set, Tsurenko closed in two hours, 12 minutes. She will face another American, second-seeded CoCo Vandeweghe, next.

World No. 100 Aliaksandra Sasnovich rallied past Timea Babos, 1-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4. Babos committed 11 double faults in the match. Sasnovich moved on to a second-round meeting with top-seeded Kristina Mladenovic.


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