Korea Open: Yanina Wickmayer ousts defending champ Ekaterina Alexandrova in R16

The 170th-ranked Polina Kudermetova notched a new milestone for herself in the South Korean capital

by Abbey Johnson
Korea Open: Yanina Wickmayer ousts defending champ Ekaterina Alexandrova in R16
© Fred Lee/ Getty Images

Ekaterina Alexandrova, the returning title-holder from 2022 at the Korea Open was knocked out of contention in the second round. Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer upset the third seed in straight sets 6-3, 7-6(6). Their match finished just three minutes before two hours.

The opening set had just the one break of serve – of Alexandrova’s. The break came in the eighth game following which the Belgian successfully served it out to go up on her higher-ranked rival. However, at the start of the set, it was Wickmayer who’d to save a couple of break points in the very first game of the set before she could hold her own.

Alexandrova, too, saved a couple of break points in the fourth game before keeping herself abreast of the proceedings, at two-all. The second set saw the two trade breaks before Alexandrova pulled ahead for the first time in the match, with a 4-2 lead.

The world no. 26 couldn’t get her serve to work well as she served for the set in the ninth game and without even bringing up a set point, handed the break back to Wickmayer. En route to consolidating the break and pulling the set on even terms at five-all, Wickmayer did have to save a set point.

On Alexandrova’s serve in the 11th game, she faced a break point yet again that would’ve allowed her opponent to serve for the match but she was able to stave off that possibility and the set eventually moved into the tie-break.

In the tie-break, the first match point came Wickmayer’s way at 6-5 but Alexandrova saved it to level the tie-break at six-all. However, she couldn’t do the same with the second match point giving the former world no.

12 a path into the quarters.

Korea Open: Retirements dot the Seoul landscape

This is the second time this year Wickmayer’s reached a WTA tournament’s quarter-final. The last time she did so was at the Warsaw Open in July (l.

to Iga Swiatek). Wickmayer will play Polina Kudermetova next. The 20-year-old made it to her first-ever quarter-final of a WTA tournament on Wednesday. Kudermetova defeated Liechtenstein’s Kathinka von Deichmann 6-3, 6-1 in their second-round encounter.

The matches featuring Wickmayer and Kudermetova were the only two completed matches of the four that were played at the Korea Open on Wednesday. Earlier, Claire Liu and Yue Yuan made it to the quarter-finals after their respective opponents, Arantxa Rus and Kaja Juvan retired mid-way in their matches. Liu was leading the seventh-seeded Rus 1-6, 6-3, 3-0 at the time. Yuan was up 6-4, 4-1 against the Slovenian.

Korea Open Yanina Wickmayer Ekaterina Alexandrova