Top seed Dinara Safina and third seed Venus Williams lost in the second round of the China Open, with the Russian making history, in a bad way though.
The world No.1 Safina, who is currently spending her 25th week on top of the rankings, lost to No.226-ranked Zhang Shuai 7-5 7-6(5), which is the biggest on-paper upset in Sony Ericsson WTA Tour history. Ouch!
Zhang is now the lowest-ranked player ever to beat a reigning No.1, bettering the No.188 ranking held by Julie Coin as she upset Ana Ivanovic at the 2008 US Open.
The 20-year-old Zhang has won 12 ITF titles, but has never before this week’s China Open won a main draw match on Tour.
“It’s very disappointing, I’d like to take a break now. I’m very upset with myself,” said Safina, who had an early break in both sets and a set point in the second set.
Last week Safina also lost in the second round of a tournament, falling to 132nd-ranked Chang Kai-Chen at the Toray Pan Pacific Open.
In addition, Safina will lose the No.1 ranking to Serena Williams, if Serena wins her match against Ekaterina Makarova on Tuesday.
The other upset of the day happened when world No.39 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova scored her second straight win over Venus Williams. The 18-year-old Pavlyuchenkova defeated the seven-time Grand Slam champion last week at the Toray Pan Pacific Open, and today at the China Open the Russian took out the world No.3 American with a score 3-6 6-1 6-4, in the second round as well. (via Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, photo: Jean-Sebastien Marceau)