Guangzhou Open: Xiyu Wang holds up the fort as other locals fade; seeds march on

Lucia Bronzetti, Rebeka Masarova and Greet Minnen didn't exit in the pre-quarters

by Abbey Johnson
Guangzhou Open: Xiyu Wang holds up the fort as other locals fade; seeds march on
© Kiyoshi Ota/ Getty Images

Xiyu Wang’s the only local favourite remaining in the Guangzhou Open draw. On Wednesday, the 22-year-old ranked 88th in the world defeated Diana Shnaider 6-4, 7-5 in their second-round match. Wang needed an hour and 38 minutes to post the win.

Wang won 75% of her first-serve points to her teenaged rival’s 72%. She, however, fared better when scoring points off her second serve, finishing the match by winning 58% of her second-serve points. Shnaider won 48% of her second-serve points.

Wang faced only two break points throughout the match and both came in the second set. She saved one but couldn’t save the other. Nonetheless, she recovered in the end to finish the match on her terms, in straight sets.

In the quarter-finals, Wang will play Viktoria Hruncakova. The Slovakian fought past Wang’s compatriot, Yue Yuan to get to this stage of the competition in the Chinese event. Hruncakova and Yuan’s match was the last to finish on Wednesday and it fell short of three hours and 30 minutes by just 60 seconds.

Hruncakova finally bagged a 7-6(5), 5-7, 6-4 win. In the second set, Yuan had two chances to serve for the set. The first came in the 10th game but she was broken. A break right back on Hruncakova’s serve in the 11th game gave Yuan a second chance at levelling the proceedings and in the 12th game, at the second time of asking, she didn’t make any mistakes.

Hruncakova’s 90 winners, however, helped her see the match through in her favour at the end of the deciding set.

Guangzhou Open: Greet Minnen greets a valiant victory

All the remaining seeds in the draw, led by the top-seeded Magda Linette, also made their way into the quarter-finals.

Linette, the 2023 Australian Open semi-finalist, got past Australian Daria Saville, 6-0, 7-6(0) after a little more than two hours of play. The Pole will now face fifth seed Rebeka Masarova. The Spaniard had quite a contrasting win as she fended off five match points to get the better of Viktorija Golubic.

After two hours and 18 minutes of play, Masarova won 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(7) over the Swiss. Seventh seed Greet Minnen needed almost an hour more than Masarova to win her second-round match against Harriet Dart. The Belgian eventually prevailed 7-6(7), 6-7(5), 6-4 after nearly quarter past the three-hour-mark.

Minnen’s next rival will be fourth seed Lucia Bronzetti. The Italian wrapped up a nifty 6-3, 6-3 win in 90 minutes against Moyuka Uchijima of Japan. The fourth quarter-final at the Guangzhou Open will be contested between third seed Tatjana Maria and Yulia Putintseva.

Maria beat home hopeful Zhouxuan Bai, 6-1, 6-2 in merely an hour and six minutes. Putintseva advanced after her opponent Clara Tauson was forced to discontinue playing the match due to adverse health. Both Putintseva and Tauson had split the first two sets, with the latter winning the first set 6-3 and the Kazakh taking the second, 7-6(5).

However, the Dane fell on the court before start of play in the deciding set and needed wheelchair assistance to leave the court.

Xiyu Wang Lucia Bronzetti Greet Minnen