Maria Sharapova defeated San Diego champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4 1-6 6-2 in the first round of the Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open in Cincinnati.
Players had to deal with extreme heat and humidity, which even forced Nadia Petrova to retire from the tournament, while Elena Vesnina claimed to have experienced one of the hottest days of her life. However, it was not the weather conditions that largely affected Kuznetsova’s performance, but rather the fact that she had a sore leg and was coming off just winning the Mercury Insurance Open over the weekend and didn’t have time to rest.
"It's definitely tough to have a night flight then come and play the day after a final, but it's just bad luck, I cannot change it," said the world No.14 Kuznetsova. "I just need to get my ranking higher and then I can get a bye. But I also have to give a lot of credit to Maria. She played really well in the third."
Sharapova commited much more unforced errors, 39 to Kuznetsova's 17, but also hit more winners, 31 to Kuznetsova's 11.
Fashion note: Masha is wearing a Nike Women's Maria Sharapova Lawn Top and Skort. So that my perception of colors doesn’t interfere, Tennis Warehouse states the outfit is filament green with armory (and there is also a white with anthracite version). (via Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, ESPN; photo: © Neal Trousdale)