Schnyder easily advances in Stanford

July 16, 2008 09:27 AM
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Switzerland's Patty Schnyder had an easy time with former two-time NCAA champion Amber Liu, winning 6-1, 6-1 in her opening-round match at the Bank of the West Classic on Tuesday night.

Patty Schnyder 225
The fifth-seeded Schnyder overpowered the less experienced Liu, who was playing in only her third tour event of the season.

Coming off a disappointing first-round loss at Wimbledon, Schnyder took advantage of several unforced errors by Liu, while playing almost flawlessly down the stretch. She allowed only two points and won six straight games to capture the second set after falling behind 1-0.

"Right from the start I was moving great and my serve was on,'' Schnyder said. "Sometimes those matches can get tricky when you let your opponent play and (start making) mistakes, but I stayed focused the whole match. We all know how quickly things can turn.''

Liu, No. 328 in the WTA rankings, had no answer for Schnyder's two-handed backhand, which produced several winners from the baseline. A wild card entrant, Liu was playing on the court where she honed her touch while winning NCAA singles titles in 2003 and 2004, but repeatedly hurt herself with numerous shots that went wide or into the net.

Not even the presence of Michael Chang, a recent Hall of Fame inductee who is reportedly engaged to Liu and was sitting in the stands quietly during the match, could shake Liu out of her slump.

"I've been pretty comfortable playing here,'' Liu said, declining to talk about her relationship with Chang. "Unfortunately, I'm just a little out of match practice. I felt there were glimpses of how I could play ... but I think momentum-wise she had it.''

Schnyder, who will play Russia's Alisa Kleybanova in the second round, said Liu will get better the more experience she gets.

"College tennis is still a big difference from the pros,'' Schnyder said. "She's going to have fun. Maybe she wanted to do better but I was just there, not letting her play better.''

Four of the five qualifiers entered in the tournament won on Tuesday. Canadian Alexsandra Wozniak upset eighth-seeded Francesca Schiavone of Italy, 2-6, 6-3, 6-1; Michelle Larcher De Brito of Portugal beat Argentina's Gisela Dulko 7-5, 7-6 (1); Australia's Samantha Stosur defeated Anastasia Rodionova of Russia, 6-3, 6-1; and England's Anne Keothavong beat India's Sania Mirza 7-6 (4), 6-1.

Larcher De Brito, 15, is the youngest player in the tournament and will play top seed Serena Williams on Wednesday. It is Williams' first match since losing to her sister Venus in the Wimbledon finals.

The only qualifier to lose was Hungary's Melinda Czink, who was beat by Israel's Shahar Peer 7-5, 6-0.