Seeds scattered on Stuttgart dirt
Originally published on: 29/04/10 11:40
Na Li and Shahar Peer became the first names into the quarter-finals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart after both downed seeded players on Wednesday.
Aussie Open semi-finalist Li had won just two matches since her run to the last four in Melbourne after consecutive first round losses in Kuala Lumpur, Indian Wells and Miami, but the world No.16 is off to a flyer in Germany.
Li left Sara Errani for dust in the opening round, conceding just two games, and backed up that performance by knocking out defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova to reach her third quarter-final of the year.
The Chinese player – who was beaten by Peer in her last quarter-final appearance – followed the Israeli’s lead after the world No.20 had booked a surprise spot in the last eight after knocking out Agniezska Radwanska 6-3 6-7(4) 6-2 earlier in the day.
Peer’s victory took a little longer than perhaps necessary having held match point at 6-5 in the second set, but raced through a quick decider to ensure her worthy triumph.
Four-time French Open champ and clay court queen Justine Henin will hope to join them in the last eight, but must first negotiate a tricky test against countrywoman Yanina Wickmayer.
The Belgian managed to defeat Julia Goerges 7-6(3) 6-1 in her opening round clash in Stuttgart despite suffering with the broken finger sustained while on Fed Cup duty last week.
“I had to change the splint, but it’s much better now,” Henin said of the break. “The pain is much less, although it is still very blue.”
Jelena Jankovic, who succeeded Henin as Stuttgart champ in 2008, faces Tsvetana Pironkova for the chance to face the 27-year-old in the quarters.