Sixth seed Venus Williams lost 6-4 2-6 6-4 to Italy’s Flavia Pennetta in the opening round of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.
Pennetta and Williams exhanged breaks in the first set. The world No.18 Pennetta broke decisively on her third chance in the ninth game. Williams broke twice in the second set, but dropped serve in the first game of the third set and never recovered.
With the victory at the Kremlin Cup Pennetta has improved her record against Williams to 3-1.
The top four seeds, Jelena Jankovic, Dinara Safina, Elena Dementieva and Ana Ivanovic, have byes into the second round.