The first round of the huge China Open, with prize money of over five million dollars, was completed on Monday with two surprising defeats. In the doubles, the Williams sisters were beaten by Chan and Huber in a nail biting three setter 6-7 (7-3) 6-4 11-9 in an hour and three quarters – after the American duo had held two match points.
In the singles, 2nd seeded Victoria Azarenka (Bio) who also lost in the first round in Tokyo last week, was taken out by a resurgent Andrea Petkovic (Bio) in three sets. Petkovic took the first set 6-4 and broke early in the second set to lead 2-1, but Azarenka fought back to take that set 6-2. The Belarusian took that winning momentum into the decider, going 2-0 up, but this time it was the German who battled harder to eventually level at 4-4 before taking the last two games – both to love – for the match.
The second biggest upset in the first round was Lucie Safarova’s straight sets defeat of 15th seed Sam Stosur on Sunday. The Czech won 7-5 6-3 in just over an hour and a half as the Aussie’s serve deserted her – she did not serve any of her famed aces in the match.
Two Serbs pulled off difficult first round matches. 14th seed Ana Ivanovic battled for over an hour and saved numerous set points to take a first set breaker against Flavia Pennetta 9-7 before easing through the second set at 6-2. 8th seed Jelena Jankovic was steam rolled 6-1 in the first set by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova before fighting back to take the second set 6-4 and racing through the decider to love.