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Chakvetadze talks of break-in terror

  • Story Highlights
  • Anna Chakvetadze beats Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 2-6 6-4 in Dubai
  • She then talks about being assaulted and robbed in her Moscow home
  • She lost $98,000 and cash worth twice as much in the December raid
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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Anna Chakvetadze defeated Pole Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 2-6 6-4 in the first round of the Dubai Open, then spoke about the anguish caused by being assaulted and burgled in her Moscow home in December.

Chakvetadze said she had difficulty sleeping at night after the robbery.

The world number six described how she has had difficulty in sleeping at nights since being tied up by masked thieves and robbed of more than $98,000-worth of cash and almost $197,000-worth of jewellery and other possessions just before Christmas.

Although she was physically unharmed she was traumatized by six men breaking in just before dawn and binding up her and her parents.

The thieves overpowered a maid in an adjacent building, gaining access to the family's living area via the garage.

"I wanted to live in another place in Moscow and change location but my parents didn't want to," Chakvetadze said at the post-match press conference.

"We had a bodyguard in the house and alarms and they wanted to stay in the same house. I couldn't sleep for three nights in my room - then it was okay.

"Sometimes you live in the house and you think you are safe and you are not. So you have to do something, it's difficult to say what, because it can happen to anyone.

"But I never thought it would happen to me. It just happens in the movies. You should do something to protect yourself. But now the first thing is to play well here, and to get some more wins."

Her next opponent is a fellow Russian, Dinara Safina, the world number 15, who is the sister of two-time Grand Slam winner Marat Safin.

Sania Mirza, India's first female sports celebrity, won her opening match 7-6 (7/5) 6-2 against Russian qualifier Vera Dushevina and then admitted that she reached a point recently when she wondered whether it was worth going on.

Mirza has been criticised by Islamist groups for wearing short skirts while competing and is reportedly being taken to court for alleged disrespect after photographs showed her bare feet resting near the Indian flag.

"There are times when you are low and lonely, and that's when your family come into play," said Mirza, a Muslim.

Asked if she had considered quitting after the flag controversy, she said: "That was one of my passing thoughts.

"I thought was it worth it to go through all this. But here in Dubai I am winning and that's more important than what happened two-and-a-half months ago," she said.

Mirza added: "We are from a country where we have not had a woman play tennis at this level and become as big a celebrity as I have been.

"I am still dealing with things at a very different level. I put my foot up because I am cramping and a law suit follows -- I don't think it happens in many countries.

"Maybe it will take ten years to get used to it."

Mirza, ranked 32 in the world, now has a difficult task to remain in the Dubai Open as her opponent on Wednesday is Jelena Jankovic, the world number four from Serbia.

Marion Bartoli, the number seven seed from France, fell at the first hurdle for the second week in a row when she went down 6-1 6-7 (5/7) 6-1 against Francesca Schiavione, the Italian number one.

Russian Nadia Petrova lost in the first round for the fifth time in six tournaments this year going down 6-4 6-4 against Katarina Srebotnik, a qualifer from Slovenia.

Struggling former world No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo, down at 29, scored only her tenth victory since losing her Wimbledon title nearly eight months ago.

The Frenchwoman won 7-6 (11/9) 6-2 over Anabel Medina Garrigues, avenging a loss over the Spaniard in their previous meeting, and earning a meeting with Japan's Akiko Morigamo. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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