Victoria Azarenka knocked out of China Open by Andrea Petkovic

Victoria Azarenka double-faulted 15 times and was broken five times by Petkovic, who reached the final here in 2011.

Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters
Andrea Petkovic of Germany returns a shot against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus at the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing Sept. 30.

Defending champion Victoria Azarenka was knocked out in the first round of the China Open on Monday, losing 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 to Andrea Petkovic of Germany.

The second-ranked Azarenka double-faulted 15 times and was broken five times by Petkovic, who reached the final here in 2011.

"I'm very happy with my performance," Petkovic said. "I was happy with my movement and my serve for the most part, and I managed to get a lot of balls back very deep and very strong. Parts of the match were a really, really good level - some parts I lost a bit of energy, but overall I'm very happy."

It was the second tournament in row in which Azarenka lost her first match, having been beaten by Venus Williams in Tokyo last week.

"It was an awful match and a very bad performance from me, so there's not much to say about it," Azarenkasaid. "It happens once, twice a year to every player, and it happened to me today."

Also Monday, eighth-seeded Jelena Jankovic rallied for a 1-6, 6-4, 6-0 win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia.

Former No. 1-ranked Jankovic had lost three of her four previous matches against Pavlyuchenkova and didn't start well in Beijing, but recovered to break her opponent three times in each of the second and third sets.

The 28-year-old Jankovic, who won the title here in 2008, took control of the match as her opponent struggled with her first serves and double-faulted nine times.

Jankovic's compatriots Ana Ivanovic and Bojana Jovanovski joined her in the second round with easier straight-set victories.

Ivanovic defeated Flavia Pennetta of Italy 7-6 (9), 6-1 while Jovanovski took just 77 minutes to dispose of Sorana Cirstea of Romania 6-3, 6-2.

In the doubles, wildcard entries Serena and Venus Williams wasted chances to win before losing 6-7 (3), 6-4, 11-9 to Liezel Huber and Taiwan's Chan Hao-ching.

In the men's draw, Australian Lleyton Hewitt knocked out seventh-seeded Tommy Haas of Germany 7-6 (6), 6-3 in the first round.

Australia's Bernard Tomic, Fabio Fognini of Italy and Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany also advanced.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.