Ningbo Open: Ons Jabeur, Sorana Cirstea eke out victories in openers!

Seeded entrants Varvara Gracheva and Arantxa Rus exited in the round-of-32

by Abbey Johnson
Ningbo Open: Ons Jabeur, Sorana Cirstea eke out victories in openers!
© Hector Vivas/ Getty Images

Ons Jabeur’s campaign at the Ningbo Open got off to a winning start as the top seed claimed a 7-6(3), 7-5 win over Diane Parry. The Tunisian needed two hours and 16 minutes to secure the result. The first set made its way into the tie-break after both players traded breaks during regulation time.

Although she came up short in the tie-break, the Frenchwoman was able to keep up with Jabeur’s play-making during the course of the set. She trailed Jabeur – 65% to 68% when it came to winning first-serve points and 40% to the latter’s 44% when it came to winning second-serve points.

In the second set, Jabeur broke Parry right in the initial moments of its start but wasn’t able to sustain her lead for long. The set continued on serve until the 12th game. Serving to push it to the tie-break and extend the match further, Parry’s serve came under trouble and she faced two match points.

Jabeur didn’t miss any chance and went on to convert the first of these two match points. Jabeur will next play Tamara Korpatsch. The German defeated British qualifier Jodie Burrage 6-2, 7-6(1) in an hour and 38 minutes.

Ningbo Open: Sorana Cirstea's successful return to the circuit

Third seed Sorana Cirstea, who’s playing her first WTA event since making it to the US Open quarter-finals, also needed three sets to make her way into the second round in China.

The Romanian also needed two hours and 52 minutes to post a 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 over American Claire Liu. Cirstea hit 10 double faults in the match but still redeemed herself in the match. Both players won 63% of her first-serve points but the seeded player won 52% of her second-serve points to Liu’s 43%.

Cirstea also converted five break points on Liu’s serve while saving five of nine break points she faced. Katerina Siniakova will be the world no. 26’s next opponent. The Czech posted a 6-0, 6-4 win over Elizabeth Mandlik in their first-round match.

Diana Shnaider and Nadia Podoroska completed wins over home players Zhouxuan Bai and Xiyu Wang respectively. Shnaider won 6-4, 1-6, 6-2. Meanwhile, the turnaround from Guangzhou to Ningbo was quite disappointing for Wang. Podoroska completed a 7-6(3), 6-4 win over the 22-year-old, a first-time WTA winner last week at the Guangzhou Open.

Lastly, there were two upsets at the Ningbo Open on Tuesday. Qualifier Valeria Savinykh defeated fifth seed Varvara Gracheva 7-5, 7-5. Kamilla Rakhimova ousted sixth seed Arantxa Rus, 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-3.

Ons Jabeur Sorana Cirstea Arantxa Rus