Chinese endure a bad start

Tennis Foreign round-up: Wawrinka downs Ferrer to clinch Portugal Open

It was a bad day for two of three Chinese tennis players at Madrid Masters as both Li Na and Zheng Jie lost their first round matches.

Zheng Jie, ranked 49th in the world, lost 2-6, 3-6 to Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova on Sunday. Jie never really got into the game against a player who had won six of their seven previous meetings. Although she had triumphed the last time they had played, she was unable to repeat the feat.

Jie was able to put a good percentage of her first serves in but Kuznetsova had few problems returning and took half of her service points. Chinese No 1 Li, seeded fifth, lost 3-6, 2-6 to 18-year-old American Madison Keys, ranked 62nd. Li, who was hoping to warm up for Roland Garros, struggled to cope with Keys’ powerful serve while failing to get her own serve working.

The fact Madrid is at an altitude helps powerful servers as the ball is considered to move faster through the air and the Chinese struggled to adapt to the conditions. Keys claimed the first set 6-3 and quickly raced into a 3-0 lead in the second set with two service breaks. Li pulled back one service break and then held to make it 3-2.

But Keys held her nerve at a moment when her inexperience could have been a factor and then broke Li Na’s serve again to move into a 5-2 lead before serving out to take the match in one hour and two minutes.

Wawrinka triumphs

Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka beat Spain’s David Ferrer 6-1, 6-4 to win the Portugal Open men’s singles title.

Second seed Wawrinka avenged February’s Copa Claro final loss to Ferrer in superb fashion by beating the top seed for the fourth time Sunday in 11 matches. Wawrinka played aggressively right from the start, dominating baseline rallies and forcing Ferrer well behind the baseline.

Ferrer struggled to counter Wawrinka’s heavily top-spun ground strokes, particularly on the backhand and lost the first five games. Wawrinka was overpowering Ferrer with some scintillating forehand winners.

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