(photo credit: REUTERS)
Shahar Pe’er is expected to drop out of the world’s top-30 for the first time
since 2009 after being knocked out in the first round of a tournament for the
seventh time this year on Sunday, losing 6-1, 7-5 to Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez
in the China Open in Beijing.
The 24-year-old Israeli, who has now failed
to make it past a second round of a tournament in 10 of her past 12 events,
could drop almost 10 places from her current ranking at No. 26 after
failing to come anywhere close to matching her march to the semifinals of the
lucrative $4,500,000 China Open last year.
Pe’er will be hoping to end a
disappointing 2011 on a high when she plays her final two tournaments in Linz,
Austria, and Luxembourg in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, Dudi Sela
advanced to the main draw of the Japan Open in Tokyo on Sunday, beating Marinko
Matosevic 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-4 in the second round of the qualifiers. Sela,
who defeated countryman Amir Weintraub in the first round of qualifying, will
next face Japanese wildcard Tatsuma Ito.
In other action, world No. 4
Andy Murray lost just two games as he breezed past American Donald Young in 48
minutes on Sunday to win the Thailand Open in Bangkok.
The top seed won
6-2, 6-0 against the 55th ranked Young who was outclassed in his first Tour
Murray converted all five break points against his unseeded
opponent to claim his third title of the year.
The 24-year-old Scot raced
into a 4-0 in the opening set before Young managed to hold on to a couple of
service games to get on to the scoreboard.
It was one-way traffic in the
second set as Murray conceded just three points against the 22-year-old Amercian
who had caused an upset in the semifinals against second seed Gael Monfils of
Also Sunday, Li Na suffered a nightmare first round defeat at the
China Open as she went down 6-4, 6-0 to 58th ranked Romanian Monica Niculescu on
an expectant center court.
The world No. 5, making her first appearance
in China since winning the French Open this year, dropped serve repeatedly as
her slump in form continued.
Qualifier Niculescu romped away with the
match after taking the first set, leaving Li, and the fans at the newly-opened
National Tennis Centre, stunned.
“I have just lost all confidence,” a
visibly shaken Li told reporters.
“On the court, I don’t know what I can
do. It was tough even winning one point.”
Since winning the French Open
to become the first player from an Asian country to win a Grand Slam singles
title, Li has managed just five victories and suffered a second-round defeat at
Wimbledon and a first-round exit at the US Open.
She said she would now
seek rest “not only for the body, but also for the mind”.
can stand up again and prepare for next year,” she added.
contributed to this report.