Zheng Leads Day 1 Winners in Dubai
Published Feburary 15, 2009 12:00
DUBAI, UAE - The first day of main draw action at the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships amounted to a good day for the two seeds who were in action; less so for the qualifiers, though two of them managed to spring surprises at the $2,000,000 Premier event.
At No.13, recent Top 20 entrant Zheng Jie was the highest seed to take to the courts, and she made light work of Australia-based Russian qualifier Anastasia Rodionova, 61 61. Zheng's compatriot, Li Na, was less fortunate, after a strong start falling in the last match of the evening to another Russian, qualifier Elena Vesnina, 16 64 64.
In a hard-hitting encounter, Zheng's fellow seed, No.16 Kaia Kanepi, split the first two sets with Austrian qualifier Tamira Paszek before cruising, 26 62 60. Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova was too strong for Ukrainian qualifier Viktoriya Kutuzova, pocketing their match 62 63; likewise Vera Dushevina, the recipient of a wildcard, had too many answers for Chinese qualifier Yan Zi, advancing 26 64 63. Russia's Alisa Kleybanova set up a second round clash with eighth seed Ana Ivanovic - whom she beat so spectacularly in Melbourne a few weeks ago - with a hard fought win over another teenager, compatriot qualifier Anna Lapushchenkova, 36 63 62.
Arguably the upset of the day was German qualifier Julia Schruff's three set defeat of the Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova, who won her first title at Hobart last month and is ranked No.43 in the world. On this occasion Schruff prevailed though, winning 63 26 64.
Other first round winners on Sunday include Italy's Sara Errani, who beat Chan Yung-Jan 64 64; Austria's Sybille Bammer, who defeated Ukrainian Mariya Koryttseva 61 64; and 17-year-old Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, ranked No.45, who swept past world No.36 and fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko in a minor upset, 62 64.
Monday's centre court line-up features an intriguing match between Polish sisters Agnieszka and Urszula Radwanksa - their first as Tour rivals. Vesnina backs up against No.8 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, while Kleybanova tackles Ivanovic in the evening.