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Peng Shuai, Li Na, Zheng Jie advances as other Asian hopes fall in French Open

PARIS: China’s Peng Shuai advanced to the second round of the French Open on Tuesday, joining her compatriots Li Na, the defending champion, and Zheng Jie as other Asian hopefuls were eliminated.

World No 30 and 2010 Asian Games gold medalist Peng Shuai, 26, beat Austrian Tamira Paszek 6-4, 6-3 and will face Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain for a place in the final 32.

Peng Shuai, whose personal best of World No 14 makes her the second-highest ranked player ever from China after Li Na, had little difficulty facing off the challenge from the 52-ranked Tamira.

In men’s singles action, Taiwan’s Lu Yen-Hsun, ranked 59, lost a heartbreaking five-setter to Jeremy Chardy of France.

Chardy, the World No 54, edged out Yen-Hsun 6-4, 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 3-6, 11-9 over four hours in one of the most closely-fought contests so far at Roland Garros this year.

In the day’s first Asian match, Japanese women’s singles veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm was routed by Italy’s Francesca Schiavone.

Kimiko, 41, was no match for the 31-year-old Francesca, the 2010 champion who was beaten last year by Li Na.

Li Na, currently World No 7, eased into the second round on Monday and will face Stephanie Foretz Gacon of France, while Zheng Jie, ranked 34, will square off with Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada.

Kimiko is the third oldest woman to ever play at Roland Garros in the Open era but manages to remain in the top 100.

“I am still fit, so why not?” she told journalists when asked if she was planning to keep playing.

“I don’t know how many years I (will) continue to play. Maybe last time here, maybe two more years, three more years. Nobody knows. I don’t know also.”

On the men’s side, Japan’s 68-ranked Tatsuma Ito, a Roland Garros debutant, lost in straight sets to British fourth seed Andy Murray.

Ito put up some resistance in the second set but Murray broke twice in the third to seal his 6-1, 7-5, 6-0 win over the Japanese after just 95 minutes.

via TENNIS: Peng Shuai advances as other Asian hopes fall – Other – New Straits Times.

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