Beijing, China – Former top-10 star Andrea Petkovic ousted top-seeded and defending champion Victoria Azarenka in an opening-round match Monday at the $5.185 million China Open tennis event.
The German Petkovic, a runner-up here two years ago, surprised the second- seeded former world No. 1 Azarenka 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 on Day 3 on the hardcourts at the National Tennis Center.
A very sloppy Azarenka was undone by a whopping 15 double faults and 44 unforced errors.
"If I'm going to be doing it again, I probably should have taken a longer break (between tournaments) and just prepared myself. I don't feel like I was ready to play," Azarenka said. "It's just my mistake for not paying much attention after the U.S. Open how I managed my time and how I managed my health."
The Australian Open champion Azarenka beat Maria Sharapova in last year's Beijing finale.
Meanwhile, fifth-seeded former French Open runner-up Sara Errani avoided an upset by leveling Japanese qualifier Misaki Doi 6-3, 6-2 in a second-round affair, while another second-rounder saw Czech Lucie Safarova level Estonian Kaia Kanepi 6-3, 6-3.
In other action involving seeds, eighth-seeded former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic overcame Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 1-6, 6-4, 6-0 and 14th- seeded former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic handled Italian Flavia Pennetta 7-6 (11-9), 6-1 in opening-round bouts. Jankovic, who titled here back in 2008, had lost three of her four previous matches against Pavlyuchenkova.
In some other first-round play, wild card Zhang Shuai whipped fellow Chinese Peng Shuai 6-3, 6-3; Serb Bojana Jovanovski drubbed Romanian Sorana Cirstea 6-3, 6-2; Canadian qualifier Eugenie Bouchard topped Slovak Magdalena Rybarikova 6-4, 6-1; Slovenian qualifier Polona Hercog vanquished Puerto Rican Monica Puig 6-1, 6-4; Kazakhstani qualifier Galina Voskoboeva grounded Canadian qualifier Sharon Fichman 6-4, 6-3; and former top-five Russian star Svetlana Kuznetsova dismantled Taiwan's Su-Wei Hsieh 6-1, 6-1. Kuznetsova was the China Open champ in 2006 and 2009 and runner-up in 2004 and 2008.
Tuesday's schedule will feature second-round matches for the likes of current world No. 1 Serena Williams, fourth-seeded Chinese favorite Li Na, former No. 1 and 2010 China Open champ Caroline Wozniacki, and former top-ranked star and wild card Venus Williams, who will face Wimbledon runner-up Sabine Lisicki. The U.S. and French Open champion Serena will take on wild card and former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, while the Aussie Open runner-up Li will tangle with Jovanovski.
The 2013 China Open titlist will collect $860,000.