Li Into Quarterfinals, Bartoli Advances Too
Published August 24, 2011 12:00
NEW HAVEN, CT, USA - Chinese trailblazer Li Na toughed out a victory in her opening match at the New Haven Open at Yale on Wednesday night, beating Maria Kirilenko to reach her first quarterfinal since winning Roland Garros.
Li, the No.2 seed at the Premier-level tournament, trailed 3-1 in the first set and 4-1 in the second set but managed to fight her way back every time, eventually scoring a 64 76(4) victory over the crafty Kirilenko. The two players were only separated by five points in the end - Li won 76 points, Kirilenko won 71.
Li is now in her first quarterfinal since the French. In her four tournaments since she hasn't won back-to-back matches - she hopes to change that this week.
The other two seeds in action were also winners, with No.4 seed Marion Bartoli winning a see-saw battle with Klara Zakopalova, 62 26 61, and No.8 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova getting past Roberta Vinci, 62 64.
"I was pleased I was able to hang tough today. Everything looked good," Bartoli said. "It's important to get matches right now and this victory is great for my confidence because I had lost the last two times we played."
Next up for Bartoli is Czech Petra Cetkovska, who beat No.5 seed Agnieszka Radwanska on Tuesday. "We've known each other since we were 16," Bartoli said. "I think our last match was the worst match I had ever played on grass. I hope it will be better this time but she has been on fire this summer."
In the only all-unseeded encounter, Anabel Medina Garrigues beat Elena Vesnina, 62 76(5), but only after some tight moments in the second set. Medina Garrigues was originally up 62 42 when Vesnina got back on serve, and the Spaniard also had three match points leading 62 65, but wound up going to a tie-break to edge Vesnina, who had upset No.7 seed Jelena Jankovic.
Medina Garrigues suffered a fall late in the second set as well. "I injured my knee eight years ago and today when I was changing direction after my serve I could feel something there," the 29-year-old said. "It was a little painful at that moment, but then it was okay. Right now I don't really know what I have - I don't know if it's good, bad or nothing important. I'll check with the physios here."
Next up for Medina Garrigues is No.3 seed Francesca Schiavone. Medina Garrigues has beaten Schiavone all four times they have played, which she didn't even realize when asked about it in her post-match press conference.
"She never beat me?" the Spaniard replied, drawing laughter from reporters in that press conference. "We've played a lot of times and we have been on the tour for so many years, I can't even remember all the times I've played her!
"I like to play Schiavone. Her style is more Spanish than mine is Italian. When we have time and the ball comes high, we can really take our time and hit it well. For sure the Schiavone I will play now is not the same Schiavone I played the other times, though - the other times she had a different mentality. Now she is so mentally strong and more powerful physically. It will be very tough."