MOSCOW, October 13 (RIA Novosti)
The draw for the $740,000 Kremlin Cup on Saturday pitted home favorite Maria Kirilenko against compatriot Elena Vesnina in the first round.
The joint WTA and ATP event starts Monday in the Russian capital, and has attracted more stars of the women's game than that of the men's.
The top four seeds Sam Stosur, Marion Bartoli, Caroline Wozniacki and Ana Ivanovic all received first-round byes in the draw.
It is a sixth appearance at her home event for seventh seed Kirilenko, who lost the 2010 final to Victoria Azarenka.
She has beaten Vesnina, ranked 62 in the world, on the two occasions they have met, though the Ukrainian-born player took Kirilenko to three sets in both.
Last year's champion Dominika Cibulkova, seeded fifth, kicks off her defense against another Russian, Ekaterina Makarova.
Meanwhile, 2006 runner-up Nadia Petrova, who stunned world No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanksa to win the Japan Open last month, plays Simona Halep of Romania in the first round; and eighth seed Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic faces Russian wilcard Margarita Gasparyan.
The draw for the weaker men's tournament, meanwhile, pitted three-time champion Nikolay Davydenko against compatriot Alex Bogomolov in the first round.
As with the WTA event, the top four seeds Alexander Dolgopolov, Andreas Seppi, Viktor Troicki and Thomaz Bellucci start their tournament in the second round.
Russian-born sixth seed Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan plays Germany's Bjorn Phau; while Russian wildcard Andrei Kuznetsov is up against Argentinean seventh seed Carlos Berlocq.
The Kremlin Cup, which has been going in various incarnations since 1990, is played on the hard courts of Moscow's Olympiisky Sports Complex.
Russia's tennis chief Shamil Tarpishchev lamented the lack of top players in the men's draw this year.
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