Unseeded Shahar Peer of Israel, who wasn’t even allowed to play at last year’s Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships due to visa denial, upset top seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in the third round of the tournament.
The world No.22 Peer beat seed No.13 Yanina Wickmayer in the first round, then last year’s finalist Virginie Razzano in the second round, and has today defeated Wozniacki 6-2 7-5. Wozniacki, top-seeded at an event of this size for the first time in her career, faced break points in all of her 10 service games and was broken eight times. In the end she showed a lot of resistance, but Peer finally closed it out on her fourth match point.
Second seed Svetlana Kuznetsova also lost today. Her conqueror was world No.99 and fellow Russian Regina Kulikova, who had never before defeated a Top 30 player. After three hours and 16 minutes qualifier Kulikova, known as a marathon woman because one of her matches is the second longest women’s singles match in the Open Era, upset Kuznetsova 5-7 7-6(2) 6-4.
Third seed and reigning champion Venus Williams is the highest seed left in the $2,000,000 tournament. The American saw off Belorussian Olga Govortsova 7-5 6-0 in the third round.
Besides Wozniacki and Kuznetsova, three seeds fell in the third round on Wednesday: seed No.11 Marion Bartoli, No.6 Jelena Jankovic, and No.10 Flavia Pennetta. However, the three of them lost to other seeded players: No.8 Li Na, No.12 Vera Zvonareva and No.7 Agnieszka Radwanska. (photo: angela n.)