Birthday girl Johann Larsson’s 2012 Cincinnati adventure ended in the third round. The Swedish qualifier, who turned twenty-four on the day of the match, did not stand a chance against experienced ninth seed Chinese Li. While Larsson was able to avert the first two break points she faced in the opening game of the match, she nevertheless lost two consecutive service games few minutes later. As the Swede couldn’t convert the single break point opportunity she had, Li closed out the first set without any problems.
The second set was tied until 2-2, when the Chinese converted two successive break points to find herself 5-2 up. She wrapped up the match in style with a game to love. Final result: 6-2, 6-2. Last year’s French Open champion will be facing a much tougher challenge in quarterfinals, where she will play top seed Agnieszka Radwanska.
Unseeded Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova had been beaten by Dane Caroline Wozniacki four times in a row prior to their Cincinnati third round clash, but today it was her turn to shine. Former world number one and holder of eighteen WTA trophies Wozniacki went down surprisingly easily in straight sets: 6-4, 6-4. She opened the match with losing her serve, broke back immediately, just to give away yet another serve. She continued to struggle later in the set, too, allowing Pavlyuchenkova to preserve her break advantage.
In the second, set Pavlyuchenkova converted one out of her five break point chances, while the sixth seeded Dane failed to take advantage of any of her four break point opportunities. Thus Pavlyuchenkova proceeded to the quarterfinals, where she will meet fourth seed Petra Kvitova.