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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kournikova Resumes Quest for Title

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MONTREAL — Anna Kournikova is growing up on the tennis court, and that is helping her win some matches.

The 19-year-old Russian relied on experience to help her cling to an early lead and beat challenger Cara Black 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) in Monday’s opening round of the du Maurier Open.

Kournikova jumped to a 4-0 lead in the first set, holding the Zimbabwean to just two points. But Black rallied to take a 4-3 lead in the second set before falling in the tiebreak.

"My game has matured," said Kournikova. "I’m playing a bit smarter, not trying crazy shots like I used to. I wasn’t thinking, ‘Oh God, I’m going to lose the set, I’m going to lose the match.’"

Kournikova is 152-80 in her career but has never won a WTA tournament.

"I kind of lost focus after going up 4-0 [in the first set]," said Kournikova. "Cara is a smart player. I guess she didn’t get into the match right away, but she was fighting."

Canada’s Vanessa Webb blamed a series of mental lapses for her straight-sets loss to Spanish qualifier Virginia Ruano-Pascual, 6-4, 6-4.

"There were just stupid mistakes here and there," said Webb. "I made some easy misses. I’m normally not that erratic."

Webb held or shared the lead through most of the first set, but Ruano-Pascual broke Webb’s serve to jump ahead 5-4.

Webb committed nine double-faults, compared to none for Ruano-Pascual. Webb had 26 unforced errors, seven more than her opponent.

Also on Monday, Nathalie Dechy of France beat Alexandra Stevenson 6-3, 6-4; South African Amanda Coetzer, the No. 9 seed, defeated Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand 6-2, 6-2 and Chanda Rubin, the 15th seed, beat Paola Suarez 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 6-2.

Sabine Appelmans of Belgium beat Jelena Dokic of Australia, 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), and Jana Nejedly beat American qualifier Samantha Reeves 6-3, 6-3. Appelmans was to play Kournikova on Tuesday.

Stevenson, who last year became the first woman qualifier to reach the semifinals at Wimbledon, has only 10 wins in 30 matches this year.

The top eight seeds had first-round byes in the event that has drawn 43 of the top 50 players.