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Former Kremlin Cup champion Kunitsyn falters in qualifier

Posted on Oct 15, 11:09AM | IANS

Former champion Igor Kunitsyn crashed out in the qualifying rounds of the Kremlin Cup tennis to a player ranked nearly 500 places below him.

Kunitsyn shocked Marat Safin to take the 2008 crown but the 30-year-old, ranked 149 in the world, was beaten 3-6, 6-3, 3-6 by compatriot Richard Muzaev, ranked 624 in the world, here Sunday.

The 2008 win is Kunitsyn's only title to date and in 2009 he enjoyed his career-high ranking of 35.

Muzaev goes on to face Evgeny Korolev of Kazakhstan for a place in the main draw.

The joint WTA and ATP event will have the top four seeds for the WTA event as Sam Stosur, Marion Bartoli, Caroline Wozniacki and Ana Ivanovic.

On the men's side, the top billings are Alexander Dolgopolov, Andreas Seppi, Viktor Troicki and Thomaz Bellucci.

All eight have byes into the second round.