Stosur & Peer Ousted
Published January 04, 2011 12:00
BRISBANE, Australia - On Monday, one Czech lefty took out one of the top seeds at the Brisbane International, as Petra Kvitova beat No.3 seed Nadia Petrova. That theme came up again on Tuesday as another Czech left-hander - Lucie Safarova - upset the tournament's No.2 seed, Shahar Peer.
The two had played three times before on the WTA, with Peer leading the series, 2-1. After they split the first two sets it seemed Peer was on her way to another victory, building a 5-2 third set lead; she even held match point with Safarova serving at 5-4. But Safarova finished strong, winning 10 of the last 11 points to upset the No.13-ranked Israeli in two hours and 30 minutes.
"Shahar is a fighter and the match was very long. In the end, it could've gone either way," Safarova said afterwards. "I'm very happy to win this match. It's nice to perform so well right before the Australian Open. I worked very hard in the off-season and I'm happy to play these kinds of matches right now."
Safarova has now won four of her last six matches against Top 15 players.
"I'm happy I'm playing this kind of tennis now," the 23-year-old added. "My goal this year is to be in the Top 20. I'm going to work hard to get there."
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the No.5 seed, survived her match, firing 10 aces to no double faults to beat Bojana Jovanovski, 62 75. Pavlyuchenkova's serve didn't take long to warm up - in her first service game she held at love, with the second, third and fourth points all coming on aces. Pavlyuchenkova is the highest-ranked teen in the world; Jovanovski is the youngest in the Top 100.
Australia's Top 2 players clashed at night, with Jarmila Groth pulling off an even bigger upset than the one over Peer, stunning No.1 seed Samantha Stosur in straight sets, 62 64. Stosur led 4-1 in the second set.
Groth had been 0-17 against Top 20 players going in, 14 of those losses in straight sets. And in the three matches where she pushed the elite players to a third set, she always went quietly in the decider - 2-6, 1-6 and 1-6.
In the last first round match, Roberta Vinci beat Christina McHale, 62 76(2).