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Zheng Jie advances to Round 2 as top seeds toppled by unseeded rivals

(Xinhua)

16:46, August 09, 2011

Zheng Jie of China returns a shot against Alberta Brianti of Italy during the first round of 2011 Rogers Cup women's singles in Toronto, Canada, Aug. 8, 2011. Zheng Jie won the match 2-0.(Xinhua/Zou Zheng)

Toronto, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Four seeded players fell to their opponents on the first day of the main draw at the annual Rogers Cup tennis tournament here in Canada' s largest city, while China' s Zheng Jie advanced to Round 2 to face one of the world' s best female tennis players on Tuesday.

In a spirited match, 28-year-old Zheng, ranked world' s 82, defeated 56-ranked Alberta Brianti of Italy, in two straight sets of 6-2 and 6-1, breaking Brianti' s serves three times in each set.

With today' s win, Zheng will go up against a formidable opponent on Tuesday in Kim Clijsters of Belgium, currently ranked world' s No. 2.

Clijsters, who won Rogers Cup in 2005, is the reigning champion of both the US Open and the Australian Open and a former No. 1 in both singles and doubles.

The two will face off in Tuesday' s closing game on Centre Court, in what will be Clijsters' first game in the 2011 Rogers Cup.

Rogers Cup is Canada' s most prestigious tennis tournament, held in Toronto and Montreal each August, with the two cities alternately hosting the world' s best male and female professional tennis players.

The event is on both of the Women' s Tennis Association' s (WTA) and the Association of Tennis Professionals' (ATP) world tours. This year Toronto is hosting the WTA tour while Montreal the ATP tour.

The 2011 Toronto event features the world' s current top 10 players, including No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, who was also the 2010 Rogers Cup winner; the 2011 Wimbledon champion, No. 7 Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, and the French Open champion, Li Na of China; as well as the Rogers Cup winners since 2005.

The tournament started on Saturday with qualifying matches played over the weekend. A total of 56 players are competing in the main draw starting today, including 39 direct entries based on the players' WTA rankings, 19 qualifiers and 5 wild cards. The players include 16 seeds, selected from the WTA' s top 18 players.

In a rather surprising turn of events, four seeded players, out of five who competed today at Rexall Centre on the campus of York University, fell to their lower-ranked rivals.

In the featured evening match, former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic was soundly defeated by Julia Goerges of Germany, 6-1 and 6-3. Jankovic, Serbia' s most favorite athlete and a frequent doubles partner of Li Na, is the No. 15 seed in this event.

The biggest upset, however, came earlier in the afternoon, when 135-ranked Galina Voskoboeva of Kazahkstan overcame Marion Bartoli of France, the No. 9 seed. After the match, a beaming Voskoboeva told reporters that she has played "pretty' successfully this year, after staying off the tournament circuit last year due to an injury, and was "pretty confident" in today' s match.

The other two seeded players who went down in defeat were No. 12 Svetlana Kuznetsova and No. 14 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, both of Russia.

Kuznetsova fell to 19-year-old Simona Halep of Romania, one of only three teenage players in this year' s tournament; while Pavlyuchenkova conceded to Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain.

Samantha Stosur of Australia, the No. 10 seed, was only the seeded winner today, defeating Japan' s Ayumi Morita 4-6, 6-2 and 6-3 in the opening matching on Centre Court.

Li Na, the most popular Chinese athlete since her triumph at the French Open in June, will face her first opponent on Wednesday.

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