Dubai: Marion Bartoli and Francesca Schiavone became the first of two seeds to crash out, while crowd favourite Ana Ivanovic brrezed through on the second day of the Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open here late on Tuesday.
While Ivanovic displayed awesome court presence and some late jitters in taming 2008 Dubai semi-finalist and seventh seed Francesca Schiavone 6-1, 7-5, a limping Bartoli – a semi-finalist in Doha last week and the sixth seed here - was sent packing by Chinese Peng Shuai 6-4, 6-3 in the last match of the night.
Making her fourth main draw appearance in Dubai, Ivanovic showed glimpses of her past as she raced to a 5-0 lead with breaks in the second and fourth games. Schiavone held serve for 1-5, but it was too late as the Serb wrapped up the set 6-1.
In the second set, Ivanovic had her chance when she broke in the fifth for a 3-2 lead, only to immediately surrender her advantage after being broken back by the seventh-seeded Italian for 3-3.
But the sweet Serb – on Monday chosen as one of two ambassadors for tournament organizers Dubai Duty Free - did eventually make her move as she broke a second time in the ninth game only to blow it up and lose serve for 5-5.
However, that was not the end for Ivanovic as she broke Schiavone yet again and then served for set and match to win in an hour and 41 minutes.
In the last match of the night, Shuai Peng turned things around midway through the first set, over-turning a break to serve out the first set 6-4 in 44 minutes.
Like in the first set, Bartoli was once again off to a solid start in the second with a break in the second game for a 3-0 lead. And once again she caved in as the Chinese played a percentage game to draw level at 3-3. The Chinese then broke in the seventh and held for 5-3 to finish it off with one last break.
Earlier in the afternoon session, fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska and Daniela Hantuchova staged identical late recoveries to book their places in the second round.
Radwanska clawed her way back from 3-5 down in the deciding third to help herself to a 6-1, 6-7 (8), 7-5 win against qualifier Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada, while Hantuchova maintained her poise to fight from a set down for a 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4) win over lucky loser Polona Hercog.
Also easing their way into the second round were Iveta Benesova when Dominika Cibulkova retired while trailing 1-3, Lucie Safarova scored a 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 win over qualifier Petra Martic, and Romanian Simona Niculescu became the lone qualifier to remain in the main draw with a 6-4, 6-2 win against the fancied Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to set a dream meeting against former world number one Caroline Wozniacki today.
Agnieszka Radwanska bt Aleksandra Wozniak 6-1, 6-7 (8), 7-5; Iveta Benesova bt Dominika Cibulkova 3-1 (retd.); Lucie Safarova bt Petra Martic 6-3, 5-7, 6-3; Daniela Hantuchova bt Polona Hercog 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4); Simona Halep bt Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 6-2; Ana Ivanovic bt Francesca Schiavone 6-1, 7-5; Shuai Peng bt Marion Bartoli 6-4, 6-3.
Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez/Shahar Peer bt Casey Dellacqua/Samantha Stosur 6-7, 6-1, 1-0; Nuria Llagostera Vives/Anastasia Rodionova bt Natalie Grandin/Vladimira Uhlirova 1-6, 6-1, 1-0; Sania Mirza/Elena Vesnina bt Fatma Al Nabhani/Andreja Klepac 6-1, 6-3; Anabel Medina Garrigues/Alicja Rosolska bt Maria Kirilenko/Sabine Lisicki (Retd.)
Liezel Huber/Lisa Raymond bt Julia Goerges/Jie Zheng 3-6, 6-4, 1-0; Iveta Benesova/Barbora Zahlavova Stryycova bt Klaudia Jans-Ignacik/Alla Kudryavtseva 6-1, 6-2.