The first match played in the six million dollar TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships 2013 in Istanbul on Wednesday afternoon was played between 4th seed Na Li (Player Profile) and 6th seed Sara Errani (Player Profile) in the White Group.
Errani lost her opening match in the round robin format to Victoria Azarenka, going down 7-6 (7-4) 6-2. Before this match, Li led the head to head stat against the Italian 5-0, with the loss of just one set in all those matches.
With Li leading 5-2 in the first set, Errani hung on to her serve to force Li to serve out for the set and although Errani’s tenacity got her to 30-15, Li managed to seal the set at 6-3 in forty two minutes of hard fought tennis.
The Italian started the second set and games went with serve until Errani broke in the 4th game to lead 3-1. Li managed to get the break back to level at 3-3 and then break again to go 4-3 ahead. She then held for 5-3, leaving Errani to serve to stay in the match. Once again the Italian’s tenacity got her through a long game to hold her serve to trail 4-5. She then broke Li to level at 5-5 and keep her hopes alive, but Li broke back in return. Yet another break saw the Italian take the set to a breaker, but although she built a 3-1 initial lead, Li took it 7-5 to close out an exciting match that took an hour and three quarters to complete.