Serena Williams Injured in Zurich; Jankovic, Ivanovic in Action Today

Posted on October 17, 2007

ZÜRICH, Switzerland - France's top duo was challenged by a pair of qualifiers but managed to move through regardless, while Serena Williams bowed out due to injury, as first round action continued at the Zürich Open, the final Tier I stop of the season.

Marion Bartoli and Amélie Mauresmo, the world's No.11 and No.13 players, each dropped sets but were able to rally past their challengers in three. Mauresmo, seeded No.8, downed Greece's Eleni Daniilidou, 64 46 63, while Bartoli dispatched China's Peng Shuai, 67(4) 60 61.

Mauresmo seemed to lose control of her match against Daniilidou in the second set, going down 5-2. Although she dropped the set after closing to 5-4, her rally was a sign of things to come, as she comfortably prevailed in the decider.

"I haven't been playing my best tennis the last few weeks so it would've been a big surprise to have played my best today," said Mauresmo, who had lost her last three matches, including first round losses the last two weeks. "The main thing was to win it. I haven't had that many wins lately; it's nice to finally do it again."

In a match between two players who hit with two hands off of both sides, Bartoli battled for more than an hour but finally dropped the opening set to Peng, despite holding set point leading 6-5. Perhaps that lost opportunity motivated her as she won 12 of the last 13 games. After winning a four-deuce game to start the second set, the Frenchwoman lost just 17 points the rest of the match.

Williams, fresh from her third final of the year at another Tier I tournament in Moscow, went down 60 30 in just 33 minutes and just could not play through a right adductor strain, granting an unseeded Patty Schnyder a retirement win. Williams, a former world No.1, was the tournament's No.6 seed.

No.7 seed Daniela Hantuchova made it 3-1 for the seeds Tuesday in the feature evening match, edging last week's Moscow semifinalist Dinara Safina in a pair of tie-breaks, 76(2) 76(4). Having lost their first two encounters, Hantuchova has now won two straight against Safina, evening their head-to-head, two apiece.

In matches between unseeded players, Sybille Bammer cruised past qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko, 62 62; Vera Zvonareva let go of a 4-2 lead en route to losing the first set but regrouped to beat qualifier Karin Knapp in three, 57 62 62; and Agnieszka Radwanska, a lucky loser into the draw, beat Shahar Peer, 64 63.

Two teams that have lifted trophies this year made solid starts to their doubles campaigns earlier on, most notably Katarina Srebotnik and Ai Sugiyama, who beat Zvonareva and Janette Husarova, 62 63. The Slovenian-Japanese tandem earned the Tier I title in Toronto in August, and as the No.2 seeds this week are hoping to gather some more points in hopes of qualifying for the upcoming Sony Ericsson Championships doubles event (they are No.4 in the standings).

Los Angeles and Stuttgart champions Kveta Peschke and Rennae Stubbs won by an almost identical score, beating Maria Kirilenko and Elena Vesnina, 63 62. The Czech-Australian pair isn't seeded this week but is also in the hunt for Sony Ericsson Championships qualification, currently at No.5 in the standings. (WTA)