Dubai, United Arab Emirates (SportsNetwork.com) - World No. 1 superstar
Serena Williams was a second-round winner Tuesday at the $2 million Dubai
Williams, playing her first tennis since losing to Ana Ivanovic in the fourth
round at the Australian Open last month, was tested mightily in the first set
before settling for a 7-6 (10-8), 6-0 victory over Russian Ekaterina Makarova
on the hardcourts at Dubai Tennis Stadium.
The 32-year-old Williams is also recovering from a back problem that plagued
her in her Aussie Open loss.
The reigning U.S. and French Open champion's quarterfinal opponent on Thursday
will be fifth-seeded Jelena Jankovic or Czech Lucie Safarova.
No less than three former No. 1s saw opening-round action on Tuesday, and all
three moved on. Jankovic handled Ukrainian qualifier Maryna Zanevska 6-4, 6-3,
while Ivanovic upended sixth-seeded German and last week's Doha runner-up
Angelique Kerber 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8-6), and eighth-seeded former U.S. Open
runner-up and 2011 Dubai titlist Caroline Wozniacki overcame last year's
Wimbledon runner-up Sabine Lisicki of Germany 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.
"I knew she was going to come out hot and just go for her shots, and I felt
like I was just a step behind," Wozniacki said after besting the big-serving
Also in the first round, France's Alize Cornet was leading last week's Doha
champion Simona Halep 6-1, 1-1 when the seventh-seeded Romanian retired on Day
2, citing an Achilles injury and fatigue.
"After one set I realized that it is dangerous to continue," Halep said.
In some other first-round play, German qualifier Annika Beck took out former
U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur 1-6, 6-1, 6-4, Belgian Kirsten Flipkens topped
Czech qualifier Karolina Pliskova 6-1, 7-5, and Italian qualifier Flavia
Pennetta foiled Estonian slugger Kaia Kanepi 7-5, 6-4. Pennetta is rewarded
with a second-round match against second-seeded former Wimbledon finalist and
2012 Dubai champ Agnieszka Radwanska.
The second round will conclude Wednesday, including matches for Radwanska,
third-seeded reigning Dubai champ Petra Kvitova, fourth-seeded 2013 Dubai
runner-up Sara Errani, Jankovic, Wozniacki, and Ivanovic, who will take on
fellow former world No. 1 and two-time Dubai titlist Venus Williams.
The Sports Network