Wozniacki eyes rebound at China Open

Updated: 01 October 2011 12:35 IST

Caroline Wozniacki will attempt to put aside her embarrassing early exit in Japan as the world number one heads to Beijing to defend the China Open, which is missing some star names.

Wozniacki eyes rebound at China Open

Beijing:

Caroline Wozniacki will attempt to put aside her embarrassing early exit in Japan as the world number one heads to Beijing to defend the China Open, which is missing some star names.

The tournament, which starts Saturday, suddenly opened up for the 21-year-old Dane, who is yet to win a Grand Slam, after Maria Sharapova was forced to withdraw with an injury and Serena Williams also decided to skip the tournament.

Wozniacki was bundled out of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo in the third round after she surprisingly went down to Estonia's 43rd- ranked Kaia Kanepi 5-7, 6-1, 4-6.

The top seed will be hoping there is no repeat on the hard courts at the National Tennis Center when she opens against Czech Lucie Hradecka.

At least she will not have to contend with world number two Sharapova, the semi-finalist in 2004 and 2005 who is out of the tournament after rolling her ankle in her Tokyo quarter-final on Thursday.

She said on her Facebook page that she is now working to be fit for the WTA year-end finals in Istanbul in a month.

"The good news is that the MRI (scan) showed no big damage in the ankle," the Russian said in a posting. "Will do my best to recover in time for Istanbul."

Seeded second is Victoria Azarenka from Belarus, with Russian Vera Zvonareva, last year's losing finalist, third.

But the biggest attraction will be China's Li Na, whose French Open title in the spring sparked an explosion of interest in the game in the world's most populous nation.

Li, 29, China's first Grand Slam singles champion in the men's or women's game, has just split with another coach, dismissing Dane Michael Mortensen after a trial of only months and is now back with her husband as her trainer.

Li's post-Roland Garros period has been a great disappointment, with a first-round US Open exit her latest disaster.

Chinese media suggested the fourth seed was unable to deal with "mild and gentle" coaching from Mortensen and will now fall back on the more volatile relationship she has with her husband.

Fifth-seeded Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova will also hope for a kick-start to her game after a series of injuries following her career triumph. She reached a semi-final at Tokyo in her first solid showing in months.

Australian Samantha Stosur takes the sixth seeding ahead of Italy's Francesca Schiavone, who beat her in the final of the French Open in 2010.

France's Marion Bartoli is seeded eighth. China have another seed in number 12 Peng Shuai, who reached the fourth round at the US Open.

Seeds:

Caroline Wozniacki (DEN x1)

Victoria Azarenka (BLR x2)

Vera Zvonareva (RUS x3)

Li Na (CHN x4)

Petra Kvitova (CZE x5)

Samantha Stosur (AUS x6)

Francesca Schiavone (ITA x7)

Marion Bartoli (FRA x8)

Andrea Petkovic (GER x9)

Jelena Jankovic (SRB x10)

Agnieszka Radwanska (POL x11)

Peng Shuai (CHN x12)

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS x13)

Sabine Lisicki (GER x14)

Roberta Vinci (ITA x15)

Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS x16)

Topics : Caroline Wozniacki Maria Sharapova Tennis Na Li
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