BEIJING, Oct 2 — Former world number one Jelena Jankovic suffered a shock first round exit at the China Open yesterday, losing 7-5 6-4 to Austrian Tamira Paszek.
The tenth seed produced an error-strewn display under the lights on a chilly night and her young opponent took full advantage to earn a notable victory.
It proved a poor day for Serbian players with Bojana Jovanovski also going out, although there was nothing surprising about her 6-1 6-3 defeat by Italy’s seventh seed Francesca Schiavone.
Jankovic made no excuses for her defeat.
“I had trouble feeling the ball. I was making a lot of errors. The ball kept flying off of my racquet,” she said.
“But my opponent played much better. She was the better player today and she got used to the conditions better than me.”
Russia‘s Svetlana Kuznetsova, seeded 16, moved into the second round when Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania retired when trailing by a set and 4-1.
All eyes will be on China’s French Open champion Li Na today when she opens her tournament against another Romanian player, Monica Niculescu on the 15,000-seat centre court.
She will be hoping her legion of fans can help her rediscover her form after a dip since she became the first player from an Asian country to win a grand slam title in June.
She was knocked out in the first round of the US Open last month and earlier this week admitted she has been lacking “mental toughness.”
World number one and defending champion Caroline Wozniacki and US Open champions Samantha Stosur are among the players vying for the trophy. Wozniacki faces Czech Lucie Hradecka tomorrow and Stosur plays Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova today.
The tournament has been hit by several pull-outs with Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams out of the women’s tournament while Novak Djokovic is missing from the men’s event which begins tomorrow. — Reuters