x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Pennetta of Italy does the job

Flavia Pennetta rounded off a flawless performance for Italian tennis yesterday at the Aviation Club.

Dubai // Flavia Pennetta rounded off a flawless performance for Italian tennis yesterday at the Aviation Club when she defeated Jelena Dokic at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

The 6-2, 6-2 triumph completed a trio of wins for women representing the Italian tricolour after Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci both won earlier in the day.

Francesca Schiavone was given a bye into round two courtesy of her world No 4 ranking.

The reward for such strong performances sees Vinci face Vera Zvonareva, the world No 3, while Errani will meet Samantha Stosur, the Australian ranked No 5 in the world.

Pennetta, who made light work of her wild-card opponent Dokic, conceded her compatriots face tough tasks, but added she has faith that they can progress.

"Of course it's going to be really tough," she said. "They play against two really good players, but I think you have to go on the court and believe you can beat anybody. If you don't do that, it's better you don't go on the court. [Sara and Roberta] have the tennis to be dangerous against these players."

Pennetta, the world No 16, will expect a tougher match against the Czech Republic's Klara Zakopalova than she was given by Dokic, who blamed her mistake-strewn match on the condition of her health and the condition of the weather.

"I only arrived from Paris two days ago and I got sick, so I only hit once since I arrived," said the Australian.

"I don't feel like I'm hitting the ball bad at all, [but] it's very different conditions to what I played in last week in Paris; it's a bit tough to go from indoor to outdoor so quickly."

When asked why she opted for Paris rather than the Thailand Open in Pattaya, which would have allowed her a chance to adapt, Dokic said she wanted to play the bigger event.

And that she is in love with Paris.

 

gmeenaghan@thenational.ae