Lin Zhu fended off Moyuka Uchijima’s brave comeback attempt in their second-round match at the Japan Open on Thursday. The top seed from China eventually took her place in the quarter-finals with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 win over the wildcard after two hours and 19 minutes of play.
Uchijima finished the match with eight aces and double faults each to Zhu’s two aces and a double fault. The local hope was also the player who won more first-serve points – 60% to the latter’s 58%. However, Zhu was better when it came to winning points on second-serve and on second-serve return.
She won 16 of 28 points played on her second serve and 28 of 42 points played on return on her opponent’s second serve. Eight of these points came in the third set with the Japanese opponent winning just one of nine points played on her second serve.
Zhu had 21 break point opportunities come her way of which she converted seven. She also saved five of the 10 break points she faced in the match.
Japan Open: Xinyu Wang outplays Himeno Sakatsume
Elizabeth Mandlik will be Zhu’s next opponent.
The world no. 167, who’s a qualifier this week into the main draw, needed three sets to better Rebecca Marino. Eventually, after two hours and 20 minutes of play, Mandlik prevailed 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 over the Canadian. Mandlik saved 12 of 15 break points she faced and converted five break points on Marino’s serve.
This is the second time the 22-year-old’s made it this far in a WTA tournament. Her debut quarter-final appearance on the WTA main tour came earlier this year in the grass season, at the Rothesay Open in Nottingham. Meanwhile, third seed Xinyu Wang also moved into the quarter-finals.
Zhu’s compatriot had it relatively easy against Himeno Sakatsume. Wang needed just 88 minutes to wrap up a 6-4, 6-2 win over the qualifier. Lastly, Arianne Hartono also made her way into the quarter-finals of the Japan Open. The Dutch routed Panna Udvardy 6-2, 6-0 within an hour to advance in the draw.
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