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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russians Suffer a Bad Day at the Open

APKuznetsova checking her left leg while playing her fourth-round match against Peer at the Australian Open on Sunday. The third seed was beaten 6-4, 6-2.
MELBOURNE, Australia -- A drizzly Melbourne Park proved to be an inhospitable place for the Russians on Sunday.

In the only Grand Slam event to have eluded the Russian women so far, their chances of gaining the breakthrough in 2007 were significantly lowered.

One by one, they trudged out on court as the favorite to win their matches against lower-ranked opposition. Within a space of three hours Svetlana Kuznetsova, Yelena Dementyeva and Dinara Safina had exited the Australian Open with their tails firmly between their legs.

Third-seeded Kuznetsova was the most notable casualty when she lost 6-4, 6-2 to Israeli 16th seed Shahar Peer.

Seventh-seeded Dementyeva followed suit after her shortcomings in the serving department were painfully exploited by Czech teenager Nicole Vaidisova for a 6-3, 6-3 defeat.

Two days after her older brother was knocked out by Andy Roddick, Marat Safin's younger sister Dinara also caught the losing bug and was handed a 6-2, 6-2 drubbing by China's Li Na in a rain-delayed third-round encounter.

"Match by match, I was feeling more and more confident but it was a mental thing today, I wasn't 100 percent there in my mind," said Kuznetsova, who has dropped just 10 games in the first three rounds.

"I wanted the win too badly."

The bottom half of the draw had featured nine Russians and by day seven of the Grand Slam, none were left standing.

In the top half of the field, things are not so desperate, with top seed Maria Sharapova, Vera Zvonareva and 12th seed Anna Chakvetadze still in the frame for the title.

But with U.S. Open champion Sharapova and Zvonareva facing off in the last 16, at least one of them will perish before the quarterfinals.