Kateryna Bondarenko took defending champion Nadia Petrova out of the first round of the Open Gaz de France today in three sets, 7-6, 3-6, 6-4. Petrova went out in the first round of Gold Coast, then took a wild card to Sydney, where she went out in the first round. She fared better at the Australian Open, making it to the round of 16.
Bondarenko is far from being an easy opponent, but one has to wonder: What is Petrova going to do about her now seriously flagging career? Last year, she said she was having some trouble with motivation. When she is on--as she was in the 2006 clay court season--she is hard to beat. But she has not been in that zone for a long time. Known to change coaches often, Petrova cannot seem to get into a winning groove at this point, despite her considerable talent.