[QODLink]
Tennis

Kvitova and Wozniacki through to round two

No problems for former world number one Caroline Wozniacki or Petra Kvitova in Dubai as Williams looks to end drought.
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2013 17:33
Williams (L) is favourite in Dubai after Qatar champ Azarenka (R) pulls out with foot injury [Reuters]

Former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova got out of the first round of the Dubai Championships for the first time in three visits by easily handling Daniela Hantuchova 6-2, 6-1 on Tuesday.

Kvitova, seeded sixth, broke the Slovak qualifier five times, the last when Hantuchova double-faulted twice in the final game.

Kvitova set up a second-round match with former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic.

Former world No. 1, Caroline Wozniacki, had little trouble against 18th-ranked Lucie Safarova, beating her 6-2, 6-2.

Wozniacki, the 2011 Dubai champion, was on course to meet new No. 1 Serena Williams in the quarterfinals.

Williams, who received a first-round bye, became the highest seed at No. 2 when Victoria Azarenka withdrew because of a right foot injury she said she had been carrying for a week, while defending her Doha title and beating Williams in the final at the weekend.

"I feel so much better this week... I feel like a completely different athlete, a completely different person"

Serena Williams

"I tried (to play), but my body says no. I cannot force (it)," Azarenka said.

"I cannot put myself in a position to hurt myself. That would just be stupid."

She intended to travel to the United States to prepare for the big Indian Wells event next month.

Meanwhile, Williams had her eye on ending her Dubai title drought on her fourth visit.

Her big sister Venus has won the tournament twice, but Serena's three previous visits didn't end so well. On her debut in 2005, she had to retire in the semifinals. In 2008, she withdrew before the tournament because of the flu, and in 2009 she fell to Venus in the semis.

This time around, Williams said she was healthy - she had a flu bug last week - and upbeat even after losing the final in Doha on Sunday.

"I feel so much better this week," Williams said.

"I feel like a completely different athlete, a completely different person."

Having become the oldest No. 1 in the WTA's rankings history on Monday, Williams said she was proud to have regained the ranking after a tumultuous few years, and was moving on in search of a 48th career title and more Grand Slam success.

"I feel like I'm at a place where I reached that goal of getting back to the top," she said.

"If I stay that would be great and if not then I've done it."

She's set to meet Marion Bartoli in the second round.

424

Source:
AP
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
Iran's government has shifted its take on 'brain drain' but is the change enough to reverse the flow?
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
join our mailing list