Kvitova suffers early exit from China Open
BEIJING - Agence France-PresseWorld number five Petra Kvitova crashed out of a WTA Tour event in round two for the second week in a row yesterday, losing in straight sets at the China Open to unheralded Carla Suarez Navarro.
The fourth seed lost 6-3, 6-2 to the Spanish player ranked 46th in the world, just over a week after being humiliated by Croatia’s Petra Martic at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.
The 2011 Wimbledon champion from the Czech Republic had received a first-round bye in Japan before losing to Martic, then 73rd in the standings. Her poor form in Asia continued in Beijing, largely due to poor serving.
Kvitova, who has yet to qualify for the season-ending Championships in Istanbul featuring the year’s top eight players, hit five double faults in the match against her opponent who did not make any.
Elsewhere, world number one Victoria Azarenka progressed to the second round with ease, thrashing Alize Cornet of France 6-1, 6-0. The number two in the rankings, Maria Sharapova, overcame Romania’s Simona Halep in a tough match, 7-5, 7-5.
In the men’s event, last year’s losing finalist Marin Cilic suffered a shock first-round defeat to wild card Marius Copil, ranked more than 200 places below him in the world.
The fourth-seeded Croat took the first set by six games to three and looked to be coasting, but the Romanian world number 221 fought back with a number of big serves to take the second on a tie break, 7-6 (7/0) and the third 6-4.
“I wasn’t serving consistently well. When I had the break-up in all three sets I would lose my serve,” Cilic said.
The world number 15 lost to Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic in the 2011 final and was hoping to go one better this year.
“I’m very disappointed as I always feel here may be the best of the year, and the conditions would suit my game almost perfectly,” Cilic added.