Local stars crash

Beijing, September 23:

Olympic semi-finalist Li Na crashed out of the China Open on Tuesday, joined as a first-round loser by Peng Shuai on a disastrous day for the host nation players.

Li, China’s highest-ranked player, who also reached the fourth round of the US Open, slipped to a 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) defeat against Italy’s Francesca Schiavone in just under two hours.

Peng lost 5-7, 4-6 to Russian qualifier Alla Kudryavtseva. Also in the first round, Japan’s Ai Sugiyama beat China’s Yan Zi 6-3, 6-4. Serbians Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic are seeded one and two in the $600,000 China Open, with both chasing the women’s world number one spot currently held by American Serena Williams.

In the men’s $524,000 tournament, Spain’s Tommy Robredo, seeded six, beat compatriot Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-4, 7-5 in the first round match and another Spaniard, Juan Carlos Ferrero, sealed a 6-4, 6-3 win over Russia’s Alexandre Kudryavtsev.