(photo credit: Associated Press)
Shahar Pe’er advanced to the third round of the China Open in Beijing on Tuesday
and has a relatively comfortable route to reach just her second quarterfinal in
the past 10 tournaments and even her first semifinal since May.
23-year-old Israeli, ranked No. 18 in the world, came back from a 4-1 deficit in
the first set of her match against Patty Schnyder (44) on Tuesday to take 11 of
the final 13 games and claim a convincing 6-4, 6-1 victory over the Swiss
Next up for Pe’er is a meeting on Wednesday with Serbia’s Bojana
Jovanovski (93) in the last 16.
Jovanovski reached the third round by
shocking world No. 7 Jelena Jankovic on Tuesday.
Pe’er’s quarter in the
draw of the prestigious $4,500,000 event in the Chinese capital included Maria
Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka – as well as Jankovic – but all the big names
crashed out in the first two rounds, leaving the Israeli as the highest
remaining seed in her quarter.
A victory over Jovanovski will see Pe’er
face the winner of the encounter between Elena Vesnina (63), who beat Sharapova,
and Timea Bacsinszky (47), who knocked out Azarenka.
The former No.
1-ranked Sharapova made 18 unforced errors in losing to Russian compatriot
Vesnina 7-6 (3), 6- 2. That followed her dismal performance last week in Tokyo
where she crashed out in the opening round.
Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki
of Denmark is set to begin her bid for the No. 1 ranking on Wednesday against
Italy’s Sara Errani. A quarterfinal finish in Beijing will ensure she replaces
Serena Williams as the top player in the world.
Hometown fans had
something to cheer when Li Na defeated Alisa Kleybanova of Russia 6-1,
Novak Djokovic of Serbia – the men’s top seed – opened his China
Open defense with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Gong Maoxin of China to ease into the
second round Tuesday.
No. 2-ranked Djokovic, this year’s US Open runner
up, won 87 percent of his first serve points and took just 1 hour, 11 minutes to
“It feels good to be back at a court where I’ve had a lot
success in the last couple years,” Djokovic said.
Britain’s Andy Murray,
the No. 2 seed, also had an easy win, beating Paul- Henri Mathieu of France 6-2,
6-3, while third-seeded Robin Soderling of Sweden dropped the first set before
downing Tommy Robredo of Spain 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Nikolay Davydenko of
Russia, the fourth seed, cruised into the second round with a 6-3, 6-4 win over
Florian Mayer of Germany.
Murray served up 10 aces to beat Mathieu, who
was once ranked 12th in the world, but has since been plagued by injuries and
had to go through qualifying to make the main draw in Beijing.
contributed to this report