Caroline Wozniacki was upset by eighth seeded Magdalena Rybarikova in the quarter-finals of the Pattaya Open yesterday, falling 6-4, 6-1.
The second-seeded Dane, who had also struggled against Australian Open junior champion Ksenia Pervak the previous evening, made a disappointing start by conceding the opening game when Rybarikova fired a winning forehand down the line.
Twelfth-ranked Wozniacki failed to convert any of four break points in the next game, and then had to fight off two break points at 3-1 and another at 4-2 as the eighth-seeded Slovak continued to place her under pressure.
Serving well with three aces to hold for 5-3, Rybarikova constructed her points well and attacked at the right moments, and after breaking serve again to begin the second set she looked increasingly in command as Wozniacki’s game deteriorated badly.
A netted forehand gave Rybarikova a further break for 4-1, and she tied up the match with yet another break when the frustrated Wozniacki made a backhand error.
Wozniacki admitted that her tough match the previous day might have affected her performance, but she gave credit to her opponent.
“I played last match yesterday and last match today and I was a bit tired,” Wozniacki said. “It could definitely have had an effect on today’s match.”
In yesterday’s other quarter-final matches Sania Mirza of India beat Thailand’s Tamarine Tanasugarn 7-5, 6-4, Shahar Peer of Israel downed Vera Dushevina of Russia 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 and top-seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva defeated Peng Shuai of China 6-2, 6-3.
■OPEN GDF SUEZ
Top-ranked Serena Williams showed no sign of the illness that kept her bedridden last week as she brushed aside Karolina Sprem 6-1, 6-2 to reach the Open GDF Suez quarter-finals on Thursday.
Williams, after winning the Australian Open, didn’t practice until Monday, and was relieved to get through the first round of the indoor tournament she’s won twice.
Her second-round match was easier, as Williams took less than an hour to beat the Croatian qualifier, converting her first match point with a forehand return winner down the line.
Also joining Williams in the last eight were second-seeded Jelena Jankovic, third-seeded Elena Dementieva, fifth-seeded Alize Cornet, and Amelie Mauresmo, who has the most wins in the tournament’s history.
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Coming from the business world, New York Liberty owner Joe Tsai (蔡崇信) did not understand why his WNBA franchise did not have a chief executive officer similar to the team’s NBA counterpart the Brooklyn Nets, which Tsai also owns. For Tsai, it was about equality, so he did something about it. The 56-year-old Taipei-born billionaire businessman and philanthropist promoted Keia Clarke to the position last week — making her the first chief executive officer in the team’s history. The WNBA veteran became the third black woman to currently be in charge of a franchise in the league, joining Los Angeles Sparks president
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
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