Li Na dominated her first rain-delayed match at Rogers Cup in the Canadian city of Toronto Wednesday against Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, yielding a 6- 1, 6-4 victory.
The Chinese had a quick emphatic start for a lead throughout the entire match despite an abrupt stop just moments after the first set began.
Li Na, who received a first round bye at Rogers Cup — a WTA Premier 5 event and Canada’ s most prestigious tennis tournament — took the first game with her confident, powerful groundstrokes.
The battle between Li and Pavlyuchenkova, who both haven’t played a tournament since Wimbledon, resumed at 1 p.m., with Li jumping right back into the game without missing a beat.
Li, the French Open winner in 2011, revealed to reporters she was a little nervous at first, since it’s been three to four weeks since her last tournament.
This marks the fourth meeting between the players, with Li leading 3-1 in their head-to-head matches. The last time they met was in Tokyo last year, when Li won the match in three sets.
Pavlyuchenkova, ranked 31st in the world, struggled to find her footing and was overpowered by Li’s demanding serves. Li took the first set 6-1 within 20 minutes, after breaking her opponent’s service game twice.
Pavlyuchenkova chatted with her coach immediately after the set, hoping to regain a more favourable position. She stepped up her game in the second set, putting up a fight against Li to win two out of three deuces.
But Li’s swift and impressive volleys near the net takes Pavlyuchenkova by surprise and keeps her momentum going.
Practicing two-and-a-half weeks with her coach Carlos Rodriguez on the new approach, Li said it’s not easy to carry it out in a match.
Li is set to face Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic — seeded 16th in the tournament and ranked No. 15 in the world — in the third round.
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