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Pironkova, Cetkovska advance on upsets in Qatar

Feb. 10, 2014 at 2:46 PM
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DOHA, Qatar, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Qualifiers Tsvetana Pironkova and Petra Cetkovska pulled off first-round upsets Monday at the WTA's Qatar Total Open 2014.

Pironkova extended the recent frustrations of 11th-seeded Roberta Vinci with a 6-3, 6-3 win in which she has six breaks in nine Vinci serving games. Pironkova won 55 percent of the points off Vinci's serve, nearly as high a percentage as when Pironkova served. Vinci is 0-4 this year.

Cetkovska knocked off No. 14-seeded Sloane Stephens 7-5, 6-1, taking more than 70 percent of the points in the second set. Cetkovska dropped serve twice in the first set but had three breaks to claim the lead. She finished 5-of-7 in break opportunities.

Venus Williams rolled to a 6-2, 6-2 decision over Petra Martic in 63 minutes. Williams won three-quarters of the points on serve and faced only one break point.

Peng Shuai took a very tight 7-6 (7-5), 7-5 win over Nadia Petrova and Annika Beck topped German compatriot Mona Barthel, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 while Hsieh Su-Wei got by Flavia Pennetta 7-5, 6-3.

Li Na, assured next week of moving to No. 2 in the world rankings, is the No. 1 seed this week over a field that includes seven Top 10-ranked players.

No. 1-ranked Serena Williams and second-ranked Victoria Azarenka, who played for the tournament title last year (with Azarenka winning), are out due to injuries and No. 5 Maria Sharapova is working on a broadcast team at the Sochi Olympics.

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