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Li ousted by Malek

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 13:07

The Chinese world number 10 has enjoyed a brilliant start to 2010, reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

But she retired from her quarter-final against Shahar Peer in Dubai last week with a back injury and she came unstuck against Tatjana Malek in Kuala Lumpur, losing 6-1 5-7 6-2.

In contrast, top seed Elena Dementieva lost only three games in a 6-2 6-1 victory over Ekaterina Bychkova.

Li’s countrywoman, third seed Zheng Zie, had few problems easing past Russian qualifier Elena Bovina 6-4 6-3, while Austria’s Sybille Bammer, seeded sixth, also saw off a qualifier in Greece’s Anna Gerasimou 7-5 6-4.

Thai veteran Tamarine Tanasugarn, a finalist in Pattaya City earlier this month, was toppled by seventh seed Magdalena Rybarikova 7-5 6-3.

But another Thai, Noppawan Lertcheewakarn, was successful as she won the battle of the former top juniors against Russia’s Ksenia Pervak 6-1 6-4.

Alla Kudryavtseva, Chanelle Scheepers and Chang Kai-Chen were also victorious.

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