Daniela Ousts Defending Champ
Published July 28, 2009 11:59
STANFORD, CA, USA - The Williams sisters made impressive debuts at this week's Bank of the West Classic on Tuesday, both moving into the second round in straight sets, although one had it far tougher than the other.
Serena Williams, the top seed at the Premier-level stop, was seemingly easing to victory against Li Na, building a 63 52 lead with two match points. But it was far from over, as Li rallied to take the second set to a tie-break, even saving four more match points there from 2-6 to 6-6. Williams snatched the last two points to close out the match against the Chinese No.1, however, 63 76(6).
"I was just too anxious and ready to go home," Williams said about the second set. "I was playing a tough player who never gave up. She's always playing so well and it's important not to get anxious. We always go to three sets."
Venus Williams, seeded second this week, needed an hour and one minute to get past Canadian wildcard Stéphanie Dubois, 62 63.
"It was a great match for me to get my rhythm, hit a lot of balls and work on my shots. She's a young player coming up and she's going to do good things," Williams said of Dubois. "This was my debut tournament. Serena and I love playing in California so it feels like home to us whenever we play here."
Other seeds advancing on were No.4 seed Jelena Jankovic and No.8 seed Marion Bartoli. No.6 seed Dominika Cibulkova was the only seed to fall on Day 2, as Samantha Stosur beat the Slovak in straight sets, 64 63.
Other winners were Sabine Lisicki, Daniela Hantuchova, Maria Kirilenko and qualifiers Melanie Oudin and Alla Kudryavtseva. Hantuchova's victory was of particular significance, as she dispatched defending champion Aleksandra Wozniak in two hours and 33 minutes, 64 46 75. Kirilenko also won a long one, beating Anna Chakvetadze, 64 57 76(5), in three hours and 24 minutes.