[QODLink]
Tennis

Top seed knocked out by Peng Shuai

Round One of Portugal Open provides a shock as favourite Mario Bartoli is upset by China's Peng Shuai in three sets.

Last Modified: 30 Apr 2013 15:01
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Back on form: Peng Shuai suffered shoulder injury while competing in Miami in March [GALLO/GETTY]

China's Peng Shuai used a minimal amount of clay court preparation on Tuesday to knock French top seed Marion Bartoli out in the first round of the Portugal Open 6-0, 1-6, 6-4.

Peng, a 2010 semi-finalist in her only previous appearance at the event, had just limited time to train after returning to her homeland to treat a shoulder injury following a Miami second-round loss in March.

After receiving treatment in her hometown of Tianjin, she travelled on to Germany where her meagre clay preparation proved just the ticket to stunning Bartoli, the world number 14 who has now lost her last four WTA matches dating to mid-March.

"I"m very happy to win in such windy conditions," said the 27-year-old Peng, ranked 34th and second Chinese behind Li Na.

"We both started to play quite well, but at 3-3 when I had 40-15 she hit quite a lucky return and that really hurt me"

Marion Bartoli

"The clay was blowing around a lot, making it even more difficult."

Pen won in an hour and three-quarters as the erratic Bartoli produced eight double-faults and lost serve five times.

The quirky French player has reunited with her doctor father Walter as coach after several months of unsuccessful trials with other potential mentors including former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna, but is still looking for a win.

"The first match on clay is always tough for me," said Bartoli.

"I had a lot of trouble finding my game and my feet on the court.

"She was playing extremely well. I just tried my hardest and was able to play some good shots in the second set. I felt like the third was really close.

"We both started to play quite well, but at 3-3 when I had 40-15 she hit quite a lucky return and that really hurt me.

"It was a very difficult draw, but I think it is better for me to have those kind of matches early in the clay court season and try to improve for the big events coming up."

Elsewhere in the opening round, Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan beat Swede Sofia Arvidsson 6-3, 6-4 to next face two-time grand slam winner and wild card entry Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Wimbledon quarter-finalist Tamira Paszek has now gone winless for three months since the Australian Open, with the 31st-ranked Austrian losing her seventh straight match as she went down 6-1, 6-3 to Romanian Monica Niculescu.

432

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
In Vietnam, 40 percent of all pregnancies are terminated each year, a rate that health officials are hoping to reduce.
Ivory Coast tackles internet fraud scourge, but analysts say criminals continue to outsmart authorities.
In US study, MIT scientists changed the emotions linked to specific memories in mice.
The seizure of the Tabqa airbase highlights the Islamic State's consolidation of power in eastern Syria, analysts say.
Traditional spring festival blossoms outside India through fun runs, raves and TV commercials.
join our mailing list