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Okasu
Oct 3rd, 2002, 03:44 PM
Thursday, 3 October, 2002, 13:15 GMT 14:15 UK
Venus makes Moscow exit


Williams last played in the US Open final


Thursday's results
Top seed Venus Williams crashed out of the Kremlin Cup after a shock second-round defeat to Magdalena Maleeva on Thursday.

The world number two, who had a first round bye, succumbed 2-6 6-1 7-6 to the 27-year-old Bulgarian, ranked 17 in the world.

Williams twice broke Maleeva's serve to take the first set but thereafter looked tired on her return to the circuit after three weeks off.

Venus was playing her first match since losing to younger sister Serena in the final of the US Open last month.


Right now I think I need to be away and do other things in my life

Maleeva, twice champion in Moscow in 1994 and 95, broke Williams in the second and fifth games of the second set to level the match.

In the decider, Maleeva went 3-1 up only for Williams to level at 3-3 before both players held their serves to force a tiebreak.

But the world number two produced an eighth double fault of the match at 2-2 to hand the initiative to Maleeva, who won the next three points before taking it 7-3.

"You know, I didn't play for three weeks and I'm really tired," said a disappointed Williams.

"She (Maleeva) played really well, she played good at the right points.

"I made a lot of mistakes, and playing against her I wasn't playing my best."

Break

Williams, who beat Maleeva in straight sets at the US Open, will skip all the remaining events before the season-ending WTA Championships in Los Angeles from 6-11 November.

"I want another break," she added. "It's nice to be at home. It's quite difficult to play all year.

"There is not a moment you can be away from tennis. Right now I think it's my problem that I need to be away and do other things in my life."

Elsewhere in the second round on Thursday, third seed Lindsay Davenport marked her Kremlin Cup debut with a 6-4 6-3 victory over Spanish qualifier Magiu Serna.

But Anna Kournikova was forced to withdraw from her match against fellow Russian Nadia Petrova after spraining an ankle during a doubles match on Wednesday.

Medical checks revealed a partial rupture of her left ankle ligament.