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Chakvetadze escapes unharmed

December 18, 2007 22:57 IST

Russia tennis player Anna Chakvetadze escaped unharmed after several men broke into her house in southwest Moscow early on Tuesday, police said.

"Five to six unknown people wearing masks climbed over the fence of the country house at about 4:00 a.m. Moscow time (0100 GMT), then broke into the house and tied her parents up," a police spokesman was quoted as saying by the Russian media.

"They took money and valuables worth some five million roubles (over $ 200,000)."

Her father Jamal appeared on Russian television, showing scabbed-over bruises on his scalp, cheek and forehead.

"They started to beat me up, I resisted, then they hit me either with their hands or a pistol. It was dark, told me I had a child there, reminded me about it, so that I gave them everything. So I did," Jamal Chakvetadze told Russian television.

Russian tennis chief Shamil Tarpishchev later said that 20-year-old Chakvetadze was not hurt in the incident.

"The most important thing was that no one was hurt. I was told Anna didn't even try to resist the robbers," Tarpishchev said.

Police later said they were looking for suspects but gave no details.

World number six Chakvetadze has won four singles titles this year, earning more than $1.4 million in prize money.

This was the latest in a series of violent crimes against high-profile sports figures in Russia and other former Soviet republics in recent years.

Former world top 10 player Andrei Chesnokov was seriously wounded in a shooting in the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipropetrovsk in November 2005.

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