Vera Zvonareva lost to Tsvetana Pironkova 6-0 6-2 in the second round of the Kremlin Cup, which automatically qualified Jelana Jankovic for the Sony Ericsson Championships.
Jankovic is now five points ahead of Zvonareva in the race to the Sony Ericsson Championships and will be among the elite eight players of the season competing in the singles competition in Doha. The Serb has joined Dinara Safina, Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Elena Dementieva, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Venus Williams and Victoria Azarenka.
Russian Zvonareva, top seed at the Kremlin Cup, lost to Bulgarian qualifier Pironkova who secured only her fourth win on tour this season and her first since April. Still, Zvonareva is not disappointed about the outcome: “Maybe I’m even happy. Finally I will have time to restore my health and start the new season in full strength.”
Defending Kremlin Cup champion Jankovic, who has now qualified for the season-ending Championships for the third time in her career, followed up her guaranteed qualification by beating Lucie Safarova 7-6(5) 6-3 in the second round in Moscow.
Zvonareva and Agnieszka Radwanska will be alternates for the Sony Ericsson Championships. They both had their chance to earn that last Doha berth at the Kremlin Cup, but Jankovic prevailed. (source: BBC, photo: Ralf Reinecke)