UNSUPPORTED BROWSER
Tennis

Li upset by qualifier in third round of Qatar Open

Photo: Osama Faisal/AP

Petra Cetkovska recorded her second victory against a player ranked in the top three.

DOHA, Qatar (AP) -- Australian Open champion Li Na was upset by Czech qualifier Petra Cetkovska 7-6 (2), 2-6, 6-4 in the Qatar Open third round on Thursday.

"She played well. I don't think I was playing so bad," Li said. "Maybe, sometimes the wrong choice made me lose a lot of important points."

It was the top-seeded Li's first loss of the year having won her two previous tournaments: Shenzhen and the Australian Open.

Regardless of her early defeat in Doha, Li will move up to a career-best No. 2 in the WTA rankings on Monday, overtaking Victoria Azarenka, who was not defending her Doha title because of a foot injury.

Li, playing her first tournament since winning the Australian Open, had a 3-1 lead in the third set, but the 133rd-ranked Cetkovska refused to fold.

"It's an amazing victory," Cetkovska said. "It's a little bit difficult to describe exactly what I feel at the moment.

"Even though I was 3-1 down in the third set I could manage to make it and get through."

Despite breaking Cetkovska's serve on six of 12 opportunities, and surrendering only three of her own service games in 11 break points faced, Li played tentative tennis throughout the two-hour, 46-minute match.

"It was cold. It's windy," said Li, noting the inhospitable weather greeting tennis players in Doha this week.

"The court is a little slower. When I think I can hit a winner the opponent always gets the ball back, so I always have to be ready for the next shot."

This marks the eighth time Cetkovska has beaten a top-10 player. It's only the second time she's beaten a top-three ranked player -- she upset the then third-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska at the 2011 Rome tournament.

In other matches, fourth-seeded Sara Errani of Italy defeated Monica Niculescu of Romania 2-6, 7-5, 6-1, fifth-seeded Jelena Jankovic of Serbia defeated wild card Alisa Kleybanova of Russia 6-1, 6-2, and sixth-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany sent Klara Zakopalova of Czech Republic packing 6-2, 6-3.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

More Tennis

Close

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 4 easy steps:

  1. Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Bookmarks.
  3. Select Bookmark manager.
  4. Locate your current Sports Illustrated bookmark, click the Organize menu, then select Edit. You can now easily update the web address of your Sports Illustrated bookmark.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 2 easy steps:

  1. Click the Safari bookmark manager on the browser toolbar.
  2. This will open the Bookmarks Bar. In the Bookmarks Bar, select your Sports Illustrated bookmark and manually edit the Address field.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 3 easy steps:

  1. Click the Firefox bookmark manager on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Show All Bookmarks.
  3. This will open the library window. In the Library window, select your Sports Illustrated bookmark and manually edit the Location field.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.
Don't Show This Again