Bartoli Defeats Peer, Schiavone & Li Out

Shahar Peer said Marion Bartoli was playing like a No.1, while two Top 4 seeds were both ousted.

Published February 23, 2011 12:00

Bartoli Defeats Peer, Schiavone & Li Out
Marion Bartoli

DOHA, Qatar - Francesca Schiavone and Li Na were among the four favorites for the Qatar Ladies Open title but were both ousted in their opening matches.

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Schiavone, the No.3 seed, was the first to go, falling to Peng Shuai, 75 63. Peng led 4-1 in the first set when Schiavone came back to 4-all, then 5-all - it looked as though Schiavone had gotten herself back into it. But Peng's two-fisted groundstrokes caught fire again as she won four straight games to lead 75 20, and eventually scored her ninth career win over a Top 10 player.

"I was playing well and it was already my fourth match here," said Peng, who already played qualifying matches and her first round match. "For Francesca it was her first match of the week. Maybe I was used to the court more."

Peng's win over the No.5-ranked Schiavone was also her second Top 5 win, having beaten a No.3-ranked Anastasia Myskina in 2005. Neither of those wins are her biggest, according to her; she points to a win over a certain Belgian.

"My best win was in San Diego when I played Kim Clijsters," the Chinese No.2 said. "It was on hardcourt and at the time she had won something like 30 or 33 matches in a row. That was my biggest, my happiest victory."

Next up for Peng is Marion Bartoli, who routed No.8 seed Shahar Peer, 61 60. "I've played her nine times and never experienced this, how good she was playing," Peer said. "I tried everything but today nothing helped me. It happens sometimes. You play someone playing very, very well. She deserved to win."

"If Marion keeps playing like this, she'll win 99% of the matches in her life," the Israeli added. "If she played like this, she would be No.1 in the world."

Bartoli and Peng are tied in their head-to-head series, 3-3.

Li, the No.4 seed, lost in 60 minutes to Klara Zakopalova, 62 61. Li and Zakopalova both turn 29 this week, Zakopalova on Thursday and Li on Saturday; this time it was the very slightly older Zakopalova who got her fifth Top 10 win.

"I knew I had to play a good match because she's a really tough player. I saw her matches at the Australian Open and admire her game a lot," Zakopalova said. "I tried to play my best and fight for every point. I feel good here."

Next up for Zakopalova is No.5 seed Jelena Jankovic, who beat wildcard Sania Mirza, 60 61. "I think I played really well," Jankovic said. "I was really going after my shots and felt really confident out there. She can hit a big ball, especially off of the forehand, and I didn't allow her to do that. I was pleased with my performance and hopefully I can continue to play like this in Doha."

Zakopalova leads Jankovic in their head-to-head series, 2-1.

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