Jankovic's Tough Draw, Bartoli & Li Move On
Published September 30, 2012 12:00
BEIJING, China - On a pretty tough day for the seeds it was Li Na and Marion Bartoli who restored some order, as the Chinese and French No.1s moved smoothly through their first round matches at the China Open in Beijing.
The No.9-seeded Bartoli was the first of the pair to advance, breaking serve five times to beat Serbian qualifier Bojana Jovanovski in straight sets, 63 63.
Li, the No.7 seed at the Premier-level event, converted all seven of her break point chances en route to a 62 63 win over Francesca Schiavone, a very special win - she beat the Italian in the 2011 French Open final, the victory that made her Asia's first Grand Slam champion and an international megastar.
"After I lost in Tokyo last week, me and my team sat down," Li said. "Of course we weren't blaming each other for that performance, but we all worked on spotting the problems. My coach Carlos has been helping me fix certain things on the court and I was really fighting to win my first match tonight."
Last year, Li lost first round at the China Open - she made sure that wouldn't happen again either. "I don't think it's good to make the same mistake at the same place twice - last year I came here after winning the Grand Slam title and I think there was just too much pressure on me. I've experienced winning a Grand Slam and the failure afterwards. I don't think it will happen anymore."
The rest of the seeds went 0-4, with No.6 seed Sara Errani retiring down 5-4 in the first set against Italian qualifier Camila Giorgi due to a left thigh injury; No.13 seed Maria Kirilenko falling to Ekaterina Makarova, 63 63; No.15 seed Roberta Vinci losing to Spanish qualifier Lourdes Domínguez Lino, 67(4) 76(4) 62; and No.16 seed Lucie Safarova going quietly to Monica Niculescu, 62 60 - Niculescu was a surprise semifinalist at this tournament a year ago.
Domínguez Lino's win over the No.16-ranked Vinci was the third Top 20 win of her career, after beating then-No.18 Flavia Pennetta at Bogotá back in 2006 and then-No.13 Sabine Lisicki at Indian Wells earlier this year.
Jankovic defeated fellow former Top 10 player Andrea Petkovic, 62 64.
"It's unfortunate we had to play against each other in the first round - she's a good friend of mine and we are playing doubles with each other too," Jankovic said. "Andrea is coming back from an injury and she's a great player. I'm sure she will be playing great again soon. I just wish her the best of luck."
Next up for Jankovic is Niculescu - Jankovic is 4-0 against Niculescu.
"She's a tricky opponent. She has a different style of game from the other girls," Jankovic said of the Romanian. "She plays a lot of slices and drop shots, and it's going to be a tough match, but I want to focus on my tennis and what I do on the court, what I do best, and go for my shots and control the points.
"We will see how it goes. I don't think I'm playing tomorrow, so I get a day to train and work on my game, and I'll be ready for the next one."