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Vento-Kabchi upsets No. 8 seed

July 22, 2003

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Maria Vento-Kabchi upset eighth-seeded Nadia Petrova 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) Tuesday in the first round of the Bank of the West Classic.

``I played one of my best matches in a couple of months,'' said Vento-Kabchi, who lost in the second round of the Wimbledon qualifying tournament. ``I was able to work my strategy, move her around and work the angle.''

Petrova, who reached the semifinals of the French Open, was bothered by a sore back but said that wasn't the reason she lost.

``She played well,'' said Petrova, who lost in the first round for just the second time in 13 tournaments. ``Today was definitely not my best. I was feeling slow and wasn't as aggressive as I usually am. It wasn't a bad injury. My body is still getting used to playing a lot.''

Vento-Kabchi, ranked No. 130 in the world, beat the 25th-ranked Petrova in their only previous meeting, at the Italian Open in 1999.

In other first round matches, Francesca Schiavone beat Jill Craybas, 6-3, 6-1; Marie-Gaianeh defeated Julia Vakulenko, 6-1, 6-2; Alina Jidkova downed Sarah Taylor, 6-1, 6-4; and Amber Liu eliminated Tara Snyder, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Liu, a sophomore at Stanford playing in her first WTA Tour main draw, will meet second-ranked Kim Clijsters in the second round. Liu won the NCAA singles title in the spring and is playing this summer as an amateur.
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