Pe’er survives slow start to advance in Beijing

Israeli tennis star takes 11 of final 13 games to defeat Patty Schnyder.

Peer 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
Peer 311
(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.
The 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 veteran.

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, 6-4.
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 beat Gong.
“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.

AP contributed to this report