Write an Article

Serena Williams, Li Na into second round at China Open

f

Beijing - World No.1 Serena Williams and local-favourite Li Na both powered into the second round with easy wins while third seed Agnieszka Radwanska was given an early scare at the China Open tennis here.

Williams, a former China Open champion, was barely troubled by her Russian opponent Elena Vesnina, needing only an hour and 25 minutes to wrap up the opening round win Sunday, reports Xinhua.

“She serves really well, I just had to be ready for everything,” said Williams, who broke Vesnina five times in the match.

The American had a stellar season, winning nine titles, including two Grand Slams, and she has secured the WTA year-end No.1 ranking with still two months’ competitions remaining on the calendar.

“I definitely feel like I have a target. Whether I’m No.1 or No.10, I feel like my opponents lift their game against me. I think it’s good. And I also think that’s one of the reasons it helped me to be able to develop as well,” added Williams.

Chinese No.1 Li also had an easy time in the opening round, playing against her long-time friend Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia. The world number five used an hour and 30 minutes to defeat Hantuchova 6-0, 6-4 .

“I think I have pretty good start of the match until 4-love in the second set. But at this level I can not do this, to relax a little bit. You can see the score in second set. If I was relaxing, I just gave my opponent more chances to come back,” said Li.

Radwanska, however, battled for more than two hours to make it past Stefanie Voegele 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

After dropping the first set, the Polish tennis star faced some tricky moments early on in the next two sets.

She faced break points in her first two service games of the second set, and actually lost serve in the first game of the third. But she stayed cool, calm and collected through it all and got her nose in front again every time, eventually making it past the Swiss in two hours and 14 minutes.

“The first match is always tricky, especially because each week we have different conditions, different courts and different balls,” Radwanska said afterwards.

“I needed this match just to feel the rhythm.”


Djokovic, Monfils advance to Toronto semis
Leander Paes and Andre Begemann win Biella Challenger title This is Leander's second Challenger title of the year.
Roger Federer on break till 2017: How will that change his rankings? Federer will not play professional tennis for the remainder of 2016.
Wawrinka, Nishikori advance to Toronto semis
Kerber, Halep advance to semi-final showdown in Montreal
Rogers Cup: Sir Richard Branson 'hits' it off with Milos Raonic The 66-year-old billionaire's 'battle' with Raonic was full of cheeky gestures.
Rogers Cup 2016: Top seeds Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis go down in quarter-finals Mirza and Hingis, who began the year with the Australian Open title, continue to struggle of late.
Kerber, Halep set for Wimbledon rematch in Montreal
Wawrinka, Nishikori reach last four in Toronto
Leander Paes and Andre Begemann reach final of Biella Challenger Paes will make his record seventh appearance at the Olympics next week.
Baghdatis withdraws from Rio due to injury
Is this the beginning of the end for Roger Federer? Federer recently announced he would be withdrawing from tennis for the remainder of the year.
Nadal on track for Rio Olympics
Rio Olympics 2016: Why India’s chances of winning a tennis medal suddenly look a lot brighter An analysis of India's mixed doubles medal chances which look brighter after recent key withdrawals.
Djokovic stands between Murray and second gold
Wawrinka advances to Toronto quarter-finals
Rio 2016: With Roger Federer and Bencic gone, what's next for team Switzerland? We are only a week away from the Olympic Games, with a spanner thrown in Switzerland's works ahead of Rio.
Rafa Nadal's injury situation "delicate", says Ferrer
Volleyball star Tetyukhin named Russia's Olympic flag bearer
Rio Olympics 2016: After Federer, Belinda Bencic withdraws from Olympics The World No. 16 was due to partner Martina Hingis in the women's doubles.
More →
Related articles