Four of the six seeds in action in Beijing were ousted as the draw continues to open up in Beijing like you would not believe! Sara Errani was the highest seed to fall as she retired down 5-4 in the first set of her first round match with Camila Giorgi. Maria Kirilenko, who pulled out of Tokyo with an injury, struggled in a 6-3 6-3 loss to Ekaterina Makarova, who has become remarkably consistent of late. Lucie Safarova suffered another shocking loss to Monica Niculescu, 6-2 6-0. She won just one game in their last match at the US Open, which shows she has no idea how to deal with the Romanian’s game. Roberta Vinci also fell in three sets to Lourdes Dominguez Lino, 6-7 7-6 6-2, who now goes on to face Laura Robson.
Marion Bartoli managed to avoid the exodus of seeds with a confident 6-3 6-3 victory over Bojana Jovanovski, who has looked more useful in recent months. I have picked Bartoli for the final in Beijing and I think she has a good shot to go deep this week. Li Na also won in straight sets against Francesca Schiavone, 6-2 6-3. Schiavone once again struggled with her serve as she made 12 double faults throughout the match. Jelena Jankovic overcame a potentially tricky match-up with her doubles partner, Andrea Petkovic winning 6-2 6-4. The German player has really struggled since returning from injury and I hope she can improve in 2013. It will be tough for her as her ranking will plummet having made the final in Beijing last year, but I am sure she has the belief and fight to do it.
You can view my original predictions for Beijing HERE