Stosur Dismisses Li, Tough Day For Faves
Published August 11, 2011 12:00
TORONTO, Italy - Thursday was a tough day for top players at the Rogers Cup, as Vera Zvonareva, Maria Sharapova, Li Na and Petra Kvitova - seeded No.3, No.5, No.6 and No.7, respectively - were all KO'd in straight sets.
Li was the first to go. Playing her first match in six weeks, the French Open champion just couldn't figure out the serve of No.10 seed Samantha Stosur, missing out on her only break point of the match but losing serve three times to lose, 62 64. Stosur improved to 4-0 head-to-head against Li, and 8-0 in sets.
"She has a huge, big serve, not like the other girls," Li said. "It's tough after a break to come back for the first match. I didn't play a tournament for six or seven weeks. So at the beginning I didn't really know what to do. Hopefully it'll get better and I'll start training hard tomorrow to try to be ready for Cincinnati."
Kvitova was the next to fall, losing comprehensively to the WTA's newest Top 10 player, Andrea Petkovic. Ranked No.10 this week but seeded No.11 as the seedings were based on last week's rankings, Petkovic broke Kvitova's serve four times and was never broken herself for a lopsided 61 62 victory.
"I was expecting a really tough match, but the conditions were tough and she didn't play for so long," Petkovic said. "I know how I feel the first two matches when I come back after one or two months, and I also had the advantage of playing Carlsbad last week and getting some matches. I was already in it."
Playing her first tournament since winning Wimbledon, Kvitova won a close two-setter with Anabel Medina Garrigues in her first match back Wednesday, but looked far from her best against Petkovic on a gusty Thursday.
"Yesterday was a bad match for me, I didn't play well. Today it was windy again and my game wasn't good. I did many, many mistkaes on the forehand," Kvitova said. "After Wimbledon I went home and took two weeks off. Then I had fitness preparation in the mountains in Slovakia, and then I played 12 days, 14 days of tennis. I was ready for the tournament, but I have to play more matches."
Sharapova and Zvonareva, the 2009 and 2010 finalists at this tournament, followed them to the sidelines later in the afternoon. Having lost to her in the Carlsbad final four days earlier, Zvonareva fell to No.13 seed Agnieszka Radwanska one more time, seemingly on her way to a third set by taking a 4-0 second set lead but still falling in straights in just under two hours, 64 76(4).
Over on Centre Court, Sharapova lost to inspired Kazakh qualifier Galina Voskoboeva, 63 75. Voskoboeva's big serve and groundstrokes were hitting their targets as she powered through the first set and rallied from 2-4 in the second set for a chance to serve out the match at 63 54; she built a 40-0 lead in that game but lost five straight points to allow Sharapova back on serve, but then broke again and held at 15 to close out the biggest win of her career.
"Obviously she's playing really well this tournament. You could tell today she came into the match with a lot of confidence, swinging away, going for the first serve and her shots," Sharapova said of the 26-year-old Voskoboeva. "If she consistently played like that, she wouldn't be ranked where she is today."
Voskoboeva, originally from Russia, finished 2010 ranked No.528, is now No.135 and is projected to crack the Top 100 by reaching the quarterfinals. She scored her first Top 10 win in the first round here over No.9-ranked Marion Bartoli, and has now got her second over the No.5-ranked Sharapova.
No.4 seed Victoria Azarenka was the only seed to make it out of the day session, cruising past Spanish qualifier María José Martínez Sánchez, 61 62. Roberta Vinci also made the final eight, following up her second round upset of No.1 seed Caroline Wozniacki by beating Ana Ivanovic, 76(3) 62.
In the first night match, Serena Williams rallied from a set down to beat former Top 15 player Zheng Jie, 46 63 63. Zheng, who has been trying to work her way back up the rankings and is a qualifier here, was two points from a 4-2 third set lead when Williams shifted gears again. Williams broke at love to seal it.
"The thought 'I'm gonna lose' never ever crosses my mind, even if I'm down match point," Williams said. "After I lost the first set, I just thought about the third set. If I lose the first set, I'm automatically thinking about the third set."
Azarenka is now the only Top 9 seed remaining in the tournament.