Li, Zheng Winners in Warsaw
Published May 18, 2010 12:00
WARSAW, Poland - The weather was kinder to the Polsat Warsaw Open on Tuesday, but only just, and there were high profile casualties as players struggled to cope with the damp, heavy conditions. Marion Bartoli, the No.4 seed, made an early exit after a positive start, while later in the day eighth-seeded Melanie Oudin was blitzed by Magdalena Rybarikova.
No such worries for Chinese stars Li Na and Zheng Jie, the No.3 and No.5 seeds, although the two Australian Open semifinalists won in very different ways. After edging a tight first set against Ioana Raluca Olaru, Li powered home 76(4) 60; by contrast, crafty Zheng pocketed the first set against Olga Govortsova with surprising ease, but ended up fighting for survival, 61 57 75.
In the second round Li faces Polish wildcard Katarzyna Piter, who outlasted fellow Pole and wildcard Marta Domachowska. The two had split sets before play was abandoned on Monday, and today it was the less experienced Piter who held her nerve to win, 76(3) 46 75.
"I don't play in such big events on a daily basis, so it's a big success for me," Piter said. "I'll give my best against Li. I've seen her lose to Marta two years ago at the Australian Open and I would never have thought that I will play against her in a couple of years."
Bartoli seemed to be on course for a straightforward win against Klara Zakopalova, but the Czech player turned things around after the first set. Although Bartoli managed 75% of first serves in the decider it didn't count for much as she won just 39% of those points. Zakopalova advanced, 46 61 62.
"In the first set I was a bit tense, but the soft court favored me," Zakopalova said. "I'm really happy that I managed to win."
Though unseeded, Aleksandra Wozniak was favored to take her match against Bulgarian qualifier Tsvetana Pironkova, but the Polish-speaking Canadian failed to adjust to the conditions. "I was afraid that I could have an injury and I couldn't play my best," she said. "Tsvetana has played the qualies here, so she's already had some match practice in Warsaw. It must have helped her, she moved much better than I did."
Perhaps the most surprising scoreline of the day saw Madgalena Rybarikova take just 52 minutes to oust Oudin, 60 62. Sara Errani, Timea Bacsinszky, Polona Hercog, Tathiana Garbin, Greta Arn and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova also moved through the second round.