BALI -- Alicia Molik's comeback from illness faltered on Thursday when she was beaten in the second round of the Bali International by Ukrainian Alyona Bondarenko.
The third-seeded Australian, who missed several months after
suffering a virus that upset her balance, was beaten 6-4, 6-2.
Fifth seed Anna-Lena Groenefeld from Germany also lost,
going down 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 to Japan's Aiko Nakamura who now faces second seed Patty Schnyder.
Molik, who has played only five matches since April while
claiming just one victory, clearly lacked match fitness against
a consistent if unspectacular opponent.
The only positive aspect of the match for Molik was when she
recovered from 1-5, held off five set points and came within two
points of leveling the set at 5-5 before a forehand error ended
a long rally and the set.
In the second set the Ukrainian built a 4-0 lead and Molik
showed no signs of being able to recover from that position.
"I need more matches, more sets, more pressure points,"
Molik said. "It was good that I came back from 5-1 but I
shouldn't be in those positions really to begin with. I let her
play to her rhythm too much.
"I'm not really getting many free points off my serve right
now. It's points like that that really help you along, but
tonight I didn't let my serve help me much."
Schnyder overcame Spain's Virginia Ruano Pascual 6-2, 6-3, but
it was an untidy match with little rhythm and Schnyder was
flattered by the score.
Ruano Pascual broke to lead 2-1 in the second set, but the
Swiss left-hander recovered to claim 14 of 15 points and lead
5-3. Even then, Schnyder had to fight back from 0-40 as she
served out the match.
"It was really tough," said Schnyder. "She had a pretty good
run in the second set, and I really had to fight back and focus
on every point. But I was really happy the way it turned out at
the end of the second set and I feel ready for my next