DUBAI - Top seed Caroline Wozniacki was stunned 6-2 7-5 by unseeded Israeli Shahar Peer in the third round of the Dubai tennis championships yesterday.
Second seed Svetlana Kuznetsova was also beaten, falling 5-7 7-6 6-4 to Russian qualifier Regina Kulikova.
Defending champion and third seed Venus Williams was tested in the early stages by Olga Govortsova of Belarus, falling behind 4-1, but she rallied to claim the final 10 games to win 7-5 6-0. Fourth seed Victoria Azarenka also struggled before beating German qualifier Anna-Lena Groenefeld 6-1 4-6 6-3.
Wozniacki faced break points in every one of her 10 service games and she was broken eight times as Peer, ranked 22nd in the world, dictated events with her more aggressive play.
The Danish world No 3 failed to hold serve at all in the first set and managed just two holds in the second, for 1-0 and 3-2. Despite her dominance, Peer struggled to close out the win.
Russian world No 4 Kuznetsova struggled throughout her battle with Kulikova, who this week has won back-to-back matches at a Tour event for only the second time. The 21-year-old, ranked 99, dominated the tiebreak in the second set and won the final five games in the third.
Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska took just an hour to reach the quarterfinals, defeating 10th-seeded Italian Flavia Pennetta 6-3 6-0. - Reuters