18 Oct 2009

Top seeds crash out of Generali Tennis tournament in Austria

7:19 am on 18 October 2009

Top seed Flavia Pennetta and second seed Agnieszka Radwanska have been dumped out of the Generali Ladies tennis tournament in Austria after slumping to defeat in the semi-finals.

Third seed Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium defeated Italian Pennetta 7-6 (7/5) 6-3, and unseeded Czech Petra Kvitova upset Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-3 6-2.

Pennetta's defeat means that she is eliminated from the race for the last remaining place available at the WTA Championships in Doha, although her chance of qualifying was slim as she needed to win both Linz and next week's event in Moscow to have any hope of competing in the season-ending finale.

Although Pennetta might still travel to Qatar as an alternate to replace any player that is sick or injured, the remaining place to be decided in Moscow is between Jelena Jankovic, Vera Zvonareva and Radwanska.

Radwanska was playing her 65th match of the season and her 14th in three weeks, and she looked flat against an aggressive opponent who struck some stinging returns and moved the ball around well to leave the Pole out of position.

Radwanska was in trouble right from the first game as Kvitova took a 1-0 lead on her fourth break point and although Radwanska leveled at 1-1, she dropped her next service game to love.

Three double-faults in her third service game then helped Kvitova to a third break and a 4-1 lead.

The Czech, who beat world No.1 Dinara Safina to reach the fourth round of the US Open last month, failed to serve out the set at 5-2, but she earned a fourth break at 5-3 when Radwanska hit a forehand wide down the line.

Kvitova maintained the pressure in the second set, breaking to lead 2-0 after a fine return set up a winning volley.

Another volley saved a break point in the next game, and she went on to tie up the match in an eight-deuce final game, clinching victory on her seventh match point.