Serena stunned in Stuttgart
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:03
With the victory, the 26-year-old Li claimed her second win over the Williams family this season, having also upset Venus en route to the Olympic semi-finals in Beijing.
Serena, who received a first-round bye at this hardcourt event, was seeing her first action since winning her ninth Grand Slam title at the US Open last month.
The 27-year-old American also ascended to the top of the rankings with that triumph. But with the loss against Li, she will now be replaced atop the rankings by Jelena Jankovic next week.
“Obviously I want to be number one, but I am not focusing on that,” Williams said. “I am focusing on winning titles and that goes hand in hand.”
Williams looked like the best player in world as she won the first set at love, but never broke Li’s serve thereafter.
Trailing 5-3 in the final set, Williams held serve but then squandered three break chances to get the match even.
Li’s quarter-final opponent will be the winner of the second-round match between Nadia Petrova and Patty Schnyder, who advanced Wednesday with an upset of her own. The 29-year-old Swiss knocked off fifth-seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4 4-6 7-5.
On what was a rough day for seeded players, eighth seed Agnieszka Radwanska also was sent packing as unseeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus moved into the quarter-finals with a 6-1 7-5 victory over the Pole.
Seventh-seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia did survive, moving through to the second round with a 6-3 6-2 win over Daniela Hantuchova. Olympic gold medalist Elena Dementieva, the fourth seed, won the night match, seeing off Austria’s Sybille Bammer 6-1 6-4.