China’s Li Na, who has risen to No.10 in the rankings after reaching the Australian Open semifinals, lost 6-1 5-7 6-2 to Germany’s Tatjana Malek in the first round of the inaugural Malaysian Open.
Chinese first ever Top-10 women’s tennis player and second seed in Kuala Lumpur, converted all three of her break points, but lost her own serve three times and world No.81 Malek thus scored her first Top 10 win. Li’s compatriot Zheng Jie, seed No.3, advanced to the second round by beating qualifier Elena Bovina 6-4 6-3.
Top-seeded Elena Dementieva progressed to the second round. The Russian defeated Ekaterina Bychkova 6-2 6-1, in a less straightforward match than the score suggests. Interestingly, Dementieva’s next opponent will be young Serbian star Bojana Jovanovski, who you remember was jury member here on Women’s Tennis Blog when we held the contest to award one of our readers with the racquet signed by Justine Henin. Good luck, Bojana! (photo: chascow)