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  Wuhan Open: On-song Caroline Wozniacki

Wuhan Open: On-song Caroline Wozniacki

AFP
Published : Sep 27, 2016, 12:29 am IST
Updated : Sep 27, 2016, 12:29 am IST

Former world no. 1 Caroline Wozniacki made a strong start at the WTA Wuhan Open as the tournament was hit by a wave of retirements on Monday.

Former world no. 1 Caroline Wozniacki made a strong start at the WTA Wuhan Open as the tournament was hit by a wave of retirements on Monday.

Wozniacki — fresh from a title victory at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on Sunday — took two sets to secure her place in the second round, as double Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and Briton Johanna Konta also made convincing starts.

 

Four players quit mid-match, taking the tally to six in just two days at the Chinese tournament, which is also missing injured world number two Serena Williams.

Wozniacki was sidelined by injury for nearly three months earlier this year but has made a strong late-season comeback, reaching the semifinals of the US Open and bagging her first crown of the season in Tokyo.

The 26-year-old Dane flew straight to Wuhan after Sunday’s final where she dispatched Australian Samantha Stosur in two sets, winning 6-3, 6-2 on an ace.

“I’m on a roll, so hopefully I can keep pushing myself and play well,” she told reporters after the match.

Kvitova served six aces — mirrored by her teenage opponent’s six double faults — to sweep to a 6-3, 6-1 victory against Latvian Jelena Ostapenko.

Meanwhile, Konta eased past German Annika Beck 6-1, 6-2 to get her campaign off to a flying start.

The Australian Open semi-finalist will meet Zhang Shuai of China, who beat compatriot Peng Shuai in three tightly fought sets 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-4.

The pair last met in Melbourne, where Konta halted qualifier Zhang's fairy-tale run in the quarterfinals.

But Britain's Heather Watson, Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia and Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova all joined the injury list as they retired from their first-round matches.

Halep ousts Begu Meanwhile, Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania bowed out in the second set of her second-round meet with World no. 5 Simona Halep.

The late-season tournament, which comes just two weeks after the year's final Grand Slam, the US Open, also saw five retirements last year — including in the final.

Monday's pull-outs enabled American Madison Brengle, Yulia Putintseva of Kazakstan and Japan's Misaki Doi to progress to the second round with unexpected ease.

An all Czech second round meet saw US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova beat Lucie Safarova in a close two sets, 6-3, 7-5.

Wimbledon quarter-finalist Dominika Cibulkova took three sets to beat French qualifier Alize Cornet 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 and next faces German Laura Siegemund.

Location: China, Hubei, Wuhan