Cincinnati: Wozniacki, Injured Serena Pack
World champion Caroline Wozniacki was far from her best in her Cincinnati debut as the Danish was ousted by world number 76 Christina McHale in straight sets6-4, 7-5.
That was McHale’s most important win of career, needing nearly two hours to shock the top seed whom the American broke five times out of nine chances. McHale dominated the game at all facets, finishing the clash with a 58 first serve percentage, winning at the same time 56 percent of service points and 47 of return ones.
On the other side, Wozniacki converted three of four break points but never managed to stay in touch with the victory, winning just 53 percent of service points and 44 on return. Next up for McHale is either another former world number one Ana Ivanovic or Nadia Petrova. The Serb crashed Alexa Glatch of Untied States 6-0, 6-2 in the opening day after breaking her opponent five times and conceded zero services.
Ivanovic needed just one hour to get rid of the American, but is to have some hard times against Petrova who has already won a title this year at the College Park last month. The Russian needed three sets to eliminated Roberta Vinci of Italy whom she defeated 6-3, 0-6, 6-4. Petrova grabbed three breaks from Vinci who despite winning four breaks, lost the game in one hour and 40 minutes. Petrova won 62 percent of service points and 41 of return, while the Italian’s showing included a 59 service percentage and a 38 return one.
On the second half of the draw, this year’s French open champion Li Na eased past Lucie Safarova 6-3, 6-4 to meet Samantha Stosur in the third round. “I’ve been missing a lot of shots so I need some more matches on hardcourts. It’s not one thing like my running, my forehand or backhand – it’s just my timing. I need some more matches to find my timing again,” said the Chinese after the game.
Stosur has made a free progress after her opponent Serena Williams pulled out due to an injury. The Aussie will meet Li Na for the fifth time, the head to head series being still led 4-0 by the world number ten who last defeated the 29-year-old at this term’s Toronto event. This will also be their third meeting of the year after Stosur also grabbed a straight set win in Rome.
Seventh seed Francesca Schiavone needed two hours and a half to oust Maria Kirilenko of Russia whom the Italian upset in three sets 7-5, 3-6, 6-4. Schiavone broke her opponent six times and conceded five of her own services, something which could have led to an early elimination. Kirilenko had a better first serve percentage, winning 55 percent of service points and 44 on return, compared to her opponent’s 56 first serve percentage and 45 return one.
Next up for the Italian is either Jelena Jankovic or Jie Zheng. The 13th seed Serb eased past Iveta Benesova in two easy sets 6-0, 6-3 in yesterday’s sessions, breaking the Czech five times. Jankovic hit six aces past her opponent, winning at the same time 62 percent of service points and 57 of return. On the other side, Benesova won just 43 percent of her serves and 38 coming from the opposite side, finishing the game with three double faults and one break point conversion of five chances.
Daniela Hantuchova, winner of the Pattaya City event, has set a tough clash against Marion Bartoli after eliminating Flavia Pennetta of Italy in straight sets 6-3, 6-4. The Slovak broke her opponent three times and won 66 percent of service points, compared to Italian’s 56 service percentage. Her next enemy Bartoli, an eighth seed in Cincinnati, thrashed Alona Bondarenko 6-1, 6-2, needing just one hour and two minutes to secure the third term berth.
The French player, who is still chasing her first title of the season, picked five breaks and only conceded one service in the first term and won 70 percent of service points, compared to the Ukrainian who had a 73 first serve percentage, but a poor overall service percentage of 43. World number nine Bartoli will meet Hantuchova for the sixth time. The Slovak leads the direct confrontations 4-1, with the last victory coming from the 2010 San Diego event. As for Bartoli, French’s only win dates from the 2007 Birmingham tournament.
Svetlana Kuznetsova is to meet former world champion Maria Sharapova in the third round. The Russian overcame Petra Cetkovska 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and three minutes. Kuznetsova converted all of her four break point opportunities, winning at the same time 61 percent of service points and 41 of return shots.
As for Sharapova, finalist at the French Open, the fourth seed eased past Anastasia Rodionova 6-1, 6-3 in just one hour and ten minutes. The former world leader broke the Aussie six times of seven tries, impressing with a 64 service percentage and a 61 return one. Maria will meet Kuznetsova for the tenth time, the head to head series being led 5-4 by the world number seven who last defeated her compatriot at the same Cincinnati event last year. Kuznetsova’s last win comes from the 2008 Indian Wells.
On the same second half of the draw, now first favorite Vera Zvonareva eased past Ekaterina Makarova in straight easy sets 6-3, 6-0 after breaking her opponent five times. Vera saved all the four break points coming form the opposite side, winning 65 percent of service points and 55 of return ones. Makarova won just 45 percent of service points and saved six break points from her conational.
Vera will next face Petra Martic who stunned Yanina Wickmayer in three sets 3-6, 6-2, 6-2. Coming from the qualifying, the Croatian broke the Belgian five times after creating ten break point chances, winning at the same time 66 percent of service points and finishing the game with seven aces and a 53 fist serve percentage.
Wickmayer grabbed the first set pretty easily, but lost the pace in the next two terms, allowing Martic to clinch them much easier. Despite winning a couple of break points, the Belgian was unable to stay in touch with the win, losing the game in one hour and 40 minutes.
Shuai Peng stunned Sara Errani in the second round beating her in just one hour and a half. The Chinese eased past the Italian 6-2, 6-4 after capturing five breaks. Shuai won 60 percent of service points and 53 of return ones, compared to her opponent who finished the game with three double faults, a 47 service percentage as well as a 40 return one.
Peng will next meet either Victoria Azarenka or Shahar Peer. The Israeli has already ousted a seeder, Sabine Lisicki, whom she defeated 6-4, 7-6. As for the Belarusian, Azarenka, winner of two titles this year in Miami and Marbella, has been favored by a BYE in the first term so she will make her debut against Peer.
On the same first half of the table, Andrea Petkovic, winner of this year’s Strasbourg event, edged Jarmila Gajdosova 5-7, 7-6, 6-2 to meet Sofia Arvidsson in the second round. The ninth seed broke the Aussie five times after creating 17 break point chances, winning at the same time 61 eprcent of service points and 43 on return, compared to Gajdosova who finished the game with 15 double faults, including a 40 first serve percentage.
German’s next opponent Arvidsson defeated Romania’s Monica Niculescu in three sets after being crashed in the opener 0-6, 7-6, 6-3. The Swede managed to come from behind and stun the Romanian in two hours and 20 minutes, breaking Niculescu four times. She also won 56 percent of service points and 43 of return ones, while the Romanian came up with a 57 service percentage and a 44 one on return.
Petra Kvitova and Chanelle Scheepers will also fight for a third term berth. The South African qualifier eliminated Rebecca Marino of Canada in two sets 7-5, 6-2 after breaking her four times. Scheepers won at the same time 75 percent of service points and 44 of return, compared to her opponent who finished the game with ten aces, four double faults and a poor 25 return percentage.
Kvitova, who has won four important tournaments this season, including the Wimbledon Grand Slam, Madrid Masters, Paris and Brisbane events, has been favored by a BYE in the first term and is thus expected to make her Cincinnati debut against Scheepers.
Cincinnati Prize Money and points:
Winner – $360,000 and 900 points WTA
Runner-up – 180,000 and 620 points WTA
Semi finalist – $90,000 and 395 points WTA
Quarter finalist – $41,450 and 225 points WTA
Third round – $20,550 and 125 points WTA
Second round – $10,575 and 70 points WTA
First round – $5,500 and 1 point WTA11