Dinara Safina and Venus Williams ousted from China Open
Dinara Safina was upset by Zhang Shuai, a wild card ranked 226th, 7-5, 7-6 in the second round of the China Open while Venus Williams lost to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Safina would lose her top ranking if she finishes behind Serena Williams in this tournament. Williams won her first-round match and next faces Ekaterina Makarova.
“I woke up this morning feeling really excited, but didn’t do any special preparation and never expected to win the match,” said Zhang.
Safina made 13 double-faults and began shouting and growing distraught toward the end of the match.
“I’m just having some bad losses right now. So many matches that are very close, ones that I should win, having set points or match points every time,” Safina said.
“It’s very disappointing. I would like to take some break now, and I’m very upset with myself.”
Venus Williams got off to a strong start against an Pavlyuchenkova. Serving for the match, Pavlyuchenkova sent a forehand winner past Williams to wrap up the final set.
“She played really well. Sometimes I just made errors too soon in the point,” said Williams.
Williams added: “She plays well against everyone she plays and I think I usually do, too.”
Pavlyuchenkova said she’d learned from her defeat to Williams this year in Dubai.
“I just tried to play as simple as I can just into the court and just make her move,” she said. “And today I just tried to do the same thing.”
“She started actually way aggressive today especially the first set. She was playing much better. She was already preparing for this match more. … She wanted to kill me I guess,” she added with a smile.