Making her fourth main draw appearance at Kremlin Cup this week, Aliaksandra Sasnovich beat 63 64 Mihaela Buzarnescu, whom she beat earlier this month at Wuhan. The Belarusian, who moved to the quarter-finals last year, entered this week ranked No.31, one spot lower than her career high rank.
Sasnovich will face the No.4 seed Kiki Bertens, who received a bye in the first round. The Dutch, who leads 2-1 in their head to head record, needs to reach the semi-finals of the Kremlin Cup to have a chance to qualify for the WTA Finals in Singapore.
Yulia Putintseva outplayed the Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu, who committed seven double faults in her 6-2 6-0 defeat. Putintseva will face Anastasia Sevastova from Latvia who earlier today knocked out Magdalena Rybarikova, 4-6 7-5 6-3.
The Latvian completed the eight comeback win of the season against the Slovak, who led by a break in both the second and third sets. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova defeated Australia's Ajla Tomljanović 7-5 6-4 as the Australian made 34 unforced errors.
"It is always tough to play at home. The first match at any tournament never comes easy. Plus my opponent was in a good shape, it was a smooth match. I am glad that I won all the important points in both sets. I am happy with my match overall," she said in the press conference.
The world number 28 will play Simona Halep, assured to remain at the No.1 until the end of the season. "To be honest, I'm not afraid of anyone, it's not even about fear. Yes, Simona is the top player of the world now, there is a lot of talk about it.
But I want to take revenge. It's always difficult for me to play with her, no matter what her ranking is. I will fight, I hope to show a good game," she added. 17-year old wild card Anastasia Potapova offered a fierce resistance against the No.8 seed Anett Kontaveit, uncharacteristically error-prone in the opening set.
Kontaveit completed a 2-6 6-3 7-5 victory, converting the fifth opportunity in the second set and only her third match-point. Anett hopes she will be able to recover quickly after this match that lasted almost two hours and a half, to play with renewed strength.
"It was a tough match. I left everything on court today. I was very close to win it but… It’d be great experience for me that will be paid back in the future. It is so pleasant to play in front of the home crowd.
Hope I will do better next year," said Potapova as the Kremlin Cup reported on its official site. In the next match Anett Kontaveit will clash either with another Russian player – wild card holder Anna Kalinskaya or with former world .10 Kristina Mladenovic from France.