Safina, Venus tumble out

Safina, Venus tumble out

Russia’s Anastasia Pavyluchenkova en route to her three sets win over American Venus Williams at the China Open in Beijing on Monday. Pavyluchenkova won 3-6, 6-1, 6-3. AP

Serena just needs to beat Ekaterina Makarova in her second round match at the Olympic tennis centre to move up from the number two after Russian Safina crumbled in the face of a fierce onslaught from the 226th ranked Zhang.

Safina, who lost her opening match at last week's Pan Pacific Open to a qualifier, made 20 unforced errors and 12 double faults in the 126-minute contest before leaving the centre court in tears.

Serena's sister Venus, the world number three, also had a bad day, losing to Russian teenager Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova for the second week in a row, this time 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.
The world number 39 refused to be awed by Williams and dominated the final two sets of the match to claim her second win over the seven-times grand slam winner after last Monday's upset in Tokyo.

"She played really well, unfortunately sometimes I made errors too soon in the play," Williams, 29, said in a brief news conference. "Twelve double faults didn't help me today, I wasn't counting those, though."

Williams had an inkling of the fight on her hands when her 18-year-old opponent took her to six deuces as she was serving for the first set.
"She started way aggressive today," Pavlyuchenkova told reporters. "She wanted to kill me, I guess."

The Russian raced through the second set, wobbled a bit losing her serve to love at 5-2 in the third, but held her nerve to serve out for the match two games later.  "I had nothing to lose," Pavlyuchenkova added. "I just tried to move her around as much as I could, just hit as hard as I could in the court and just enjoy the match."
Sixth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova joined her compatriot in the third round with a 6-2 6-1 victory over Spain's Anabel Medina Garrigues.

Djokovic wins

Earlier on centre court, Novak Djokovic shrugged off the effects of jet lag to become the first seed to reach the men's second round with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Victor Hanescu.
In other men's first round action, eighth seeded Croatian Marin Cilic beat Igor Andreev 6-4 6-4, while Spain's Tommy Robredo thrashed German Benjamin Becker 6-2 6-1.