2
0
1

Bartoli Back From The Brink, Li Breaks Curse

Marion Bartoli saved a match point while Li Na made a smooth transition from clay to grass.

Published June 14, 2011 12:00

Bartoli Back From The Brink, Li Breaks Curse
Marion Bartoli

EASTBOURNE, England - In 2009, Svetlana Kuznetsova did it; in 2010, Francesca Schiavone did it. But Li Na defied the dubious French Open champion's curse on Tuesday, overcoming the surface transition and winning her first match at the $618,000 AEGON International in Eastbourne.

Watch Eastbourne & Den Bosch on WTA Live powered by Tennis TV!

The last two French Open champions both fell in the first round of the Premier-level event but Li, seeded No.2 this week, would not go the same way, though she fought for two hours to beat Austrian qualifier Tamira Paszek, 75 64.

"The first match on grass is always tough. I was just thinking of how to move on the court, because the movement is so much different," Li said. "After the French Open I was focusing on just my next match, and now I finally won!"

Li reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at Wimbledon in 2006 and repeated the feat in 2010. "For me the most important thing now is preparing for Wimbledon. This week I'm just trying to get used to the grass," the 29-year-old added. "To me, Wimbledon is the biggest of the Grand Slams. I really want to do well there. I hope I can go far but I'm just trying to do my best."

Next up for Li will be Daniela Hantuchova, who fired up six aces to beat another Chinese player, Zheng Jie, 64 64. Hantuchova has won 11 of her last 14 matches, a stretch that includes a win over reigning world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki at Roland Garros and a run to the Birmingham final last week.

Li and Hantuchova are tied in their head-to-head series, 2-2.

Other seeds moving on were No.4 seed Schiavone, who saved three set points in the first set tie-break and beat Kaia Kanepi, 76(7) 61; and No.6 seed Marion Bartoli, who rallied from 5-3 down in the third set and fended off a match point down 6-5 in the tie-break to beat Lucie Safarova, 63 36 76(7).

Other winners on Day 2 were Ana Ivanovic, Ekaterina Makarova, Bojana Jovanovski and Elena Baltacha. Jovanovski had the biggest win of the group, saving five set points in the first set tie-break to beat the highest-ranked teenager in the world, No.14-ranked Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 76(9) 64.

Earlier in the day, Serena Williams won her comeback match and will next face top seed Vera Zvonareva. Read more about their matches here.

 

Share this page!

Related news

  • Serena Breaks Window On Letterman

    August 22, 2014
    Serena Williams went on The Late Show with David Letterman, talking confidence, playing doubles and career stats. And then caused some chaos in the streets...
  • Sharapova's Busy Week In NYC

    August 22, 2014
    From her new Sugarpova pop-up shop to being the new face of a very, very worthy cause, Maria Sharapova has been a busy girl in the Big Apple this week. See the pics...
  • Kvitova Storms Past Stosur In SFs

    August 22, 2014
    Petra Kvitova overpowered Sam Stosur in a battle of Grand Slam champions to reach her third straight final at the Connecticut Open. Magdalena Rybarikova awaits.
To The Top
3