Surprises Early at the China Open

Day One of the China Open is in the books, and we’ve already seen upsets and surprises…

  • Defending champion Victoria Azarenka still isn’t feeling herself. After a second-round loss to Venus Williams in Tokyo last week, she was defeated in China Open’s first round by Andrea Petkovic 4-6, 6-2, 4-6.
  • In doubles, fresh off their finals appearance in Tokyo, Hao-Ching Chan and Liezel Huber defeated Venus and Serena Williams in the first round 6-7(3), 6-4, 11-9.
  • Lleyton Hewitt continues to win…even over those from his own decade. He pulled-out a straight sets win over Tommy Haas 7-6(6), 6-3.

The China Open is a combined event with the ATP and WTA: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Serena and Venus Williams, Agnieszka Radwanska, John Isner, David Ferrer…

The guys are also playing in Tokyo this week: Juan Martin del Potro, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori…

Last week in Thailand, Canada’s Milos Raonic earned the title with a straight-sets, hard-serving win over Tomas Berdych 7-6(4), 6-3. Milos is now just 180-points behind Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, fighting for that 10th spot in London’s year-end championships. Berdych has achieved three finals in 2013, but has yet to hoist a trophy.

Doubles: Jamie Murray and John Peers won the final battle over Tomasz Bednarek and Johan Brunstrom 6-3, 3-6, 10-6. It was Johan’s second-consecutive final, after winning with partner Raven Klaasen in Metz last week.

Last week in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia – Joao Sousa of Portugal won his first ATP World Tour title over Julien Benneteau, saving match point down 30-40, 4-5 in the second set. He came back to win the match in 2-hours and 18-minutes 2-6, 7-5, 6-4. Sousa after the match: “I’m so tired mentally and physically but I just feel amazing, it’s just a dream come true, winning my first title here in Malaysia…I’m really happy to win this title… I hope this helps [my] confidence and to try and do better things.”

Doubles: South African Raven Klaasen won his second consecutive title. Last week in Metz, he teamed with Johan Brunstrom. This week, he and American Eric Butorac won the title over Pablo Cuevas and Horacio Zeballos 6-2, 6-4. Klaasen’s won three titles this year in four finals appearances; he and Butorac will make this a long-term partnership with plans to play together through the start of 2014.

Last week in Tokyo, Petra Kvitova won her second WTA title of the year with a back-and-forth three-set win over Angelique Kerber 6-2, 0-6, 6-3. Kvitova fell out of the top-10 after a lackluster US Open. This week, she’s #7 in the rankings. The big story all week in Tokyo was the inspired play of Venus Williams, who eventually fell to Kvitova in the semifinals 6-3, 3-6 6-7(2).

Doubles: The final saw a former #1 team competing against each other as Cara Black teamed with Sania Mirza to defeat former long-standing teammate Liezel Huber, who played with Hao-Ching Chan. Black and Mirza won it in the third set 4-6, 6-0, 11-9.

Last week in Ningbo, China – Bojana Jovanovski came-back from a set and a break down to defeat Shuai Zhang in the final 6-7(7), 6-4, 6-1. Both came into the tournament with confidence – Zhang won the title last week in Guangzhou, while Jovanovski earned the title in Tashkent two weeks ago.

Doubles: Shuai Zhang did leave Ningbo with a title, winning the doubles final with partner Yung-Jan Chan 6-2, 6-1 over Irina Buryachok and Oksana Kalashnikova.