Monday, September 28, 2009

Qualifiers gone wild

Qualifiers had a time of it in Tokyo today, knocking three top-seeded players out of the Toray Pan Pacific Open. There were only three second round matches played, but they all involved qualifiers and upsets. Top seed and wild card Dinara Safina lost to Chang Kai-Chen, who was already someone worth keeping an eye on. Chang defeated Safina 7-6, 4-6, 7-5 in a two hour and 44-minute match. Chang double-faulted nine times (Safina had eight double faults), but she also hit seven aces.

2nd seed Venus Williams fell, too--at the hands of Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who won their match 7-6, 7-5. And Andrea Petkovic defeated 5th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5, 4-6, 6-3. (When Yaroslava Shvedova said "We're coming!" she wasn't kidding.)

There were notable goings-on in the first round, too: Ai Sugiyama had to retire in the last singles match of her career. She became ill with g.i. problems during her match against Nadia Petrova. I don't know whether she'll be able to play doubles, but I certainly hope so. 16th seed Virginie Razzano was upset by Iveta Benesova (the third set score was 6-0); wild card and Hansol Korea Open champion Kimiko Date Krumm was defeated in three close sets by Aleksandra Wozniak (Date Krumm, by the way, is back in the top 100); and Hansol Korea Open finalist Anabel Medina Garrigues was defeated by Peng Shuai.

Other notable players who went out today in the first round were Francesca Schiavone, Alona Bondarenko and Sorana Cirstea.

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