Rusty Li plays like 'junior' in Toronto Cup loss
Updated: 2011-08-12 15:36
Li Na of China returns a shot to Samantha Stosur of Australia during their third round match at the Rogers Cup women's tennis tournament in Toronto August 11, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]
French Open champion Li Na said she had played like a "junior" during a surprise third-round loss at the Toronto Cup that left her to join three other rusty top seeds eliminated on Thursday.
Vera Zvonareva, Maria Sharapova and Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova were also on the wrong end of mostly lopsided losses that further depleted a main draw that has lost 11 of its 16 seeded players in three days.
Li, who had a first-round bye and a walkover in the second round after her opponent withdrew, looked out of sorts during a 6-2 6-4 loss to number 10 seed Samantha Stosur played during a power outage that kept the main scoreboard dark for an hour.
"At the beginning of the match I was like - I didn't even know what I should do on the court, not like during the clay court season," Li, seeded sixth, told reporters. "I know exactly if I hit the ball next here, I come back, what I should do. But I was feeling like a junior on the court."
Li, playing in her first match since a shock exit in the second round of Wimbledon, had five double faults in another day of windy conditions, struggled with the high bounce of Stosur's serve and was unable to break her opponent.
Sharapova fell 6-3 7-5 to 26-year-old Kazakhstani qualifier Galina Voskoboeva, who has become an upset specialist this week after having beaten three top 25 players en route to a berth in the quarter-final.
Fifth-seed Sharapova said time off after a packed schedule surrounding the French Open and Wimbledon was likely to have played a role in a shaky performance where she committed five double faults and had her serve broken five times.
"All of us give ourselves a little bit of a vacation after that because we are on the road and travelling for back-to-back grand slams," she told reporters. After that it takes everyone a little bit of time to get the rust off and to get going."
Samantha Stosur of Australia returns a shot to Li Na of China during their match at the Rogers Cup women's tennis tournament in Toronto, August 11, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]
With the win, world number 135 Voskoboeva advanced to the quarter-finals against Victoria Azarenka, who at number four is the highest seed remaining.
Seventh seed Kvitova, who also had a first-round bye and was playing in just her second match since winning her maiden grand slam in July, appeared unable to shake off the rust that had plagued her during the second-round.
"Well yesterday was a bad match for me after the one month (off), and I didn't play well," said Kvitova. "But today it was windy again like it was yesterday, and my game wasn't so good. I did many, many mistakes on the forehand."
In other action, third seed Zvonareva fell 6-4 7-6 to Agnieszka Radwanska, Azarenka breezed by Spanish qualifier Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez 6-1 6-2 and an inspired Italian Roberta Vinci carried momentum from her shock defeat of top seed Caroline Wozniacki into her last 16 match to beat Ana Ivanovic 7-6 6-2.
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