The duo headed to Russia full of confidence having recorded a career-best finish of sixth earlier this year at the European Championship in Sheffield.
But they couldn’t repeat the trick in the short dance and sit last in eighth at the halfway stage, with a score of 51.39.
Leading the way are reigning Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir from Canada with a score of 70.65, with Russians Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov and Victoria Sinitsina and Ruslan Zhiganshin in second and third respectively.
Meanwhile, American teenager Gracie Gold headed into the Rostelecom Cup as the lowest-ranked individual female skater but ended day one top of the pile after the short programme.
The 17-year-old world junior runner-up scored 62.16 for her routine and is almost two points ahead of compatriot Agnes Zawadzki, with Finnish European silver medallist Kiira Korpi sandwiched in between in second at the half-way stage.
In the men’s event two-time world champion Patrick Chan blew away the competition and opened up a commanding lead.
The 21-year-old sits atop of the leaderboard after the short programme on 85.44 points, his nearest challenger Konstantin Menshov of Russia second on 76.73, with Japan’s Takahiko Kozuka third.
In the pairs Russians Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov lead after the short programme, the reigning European champions recording 74.74 for their routine.
And they lead by some way with compatriots Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov some way back on 66.02, with Americans Caydee Denney and John Coughlin third.
- Ice Skating
- Sports & Recreation
- Victoria Sinitsina
- Tessa Virtue