WTA WUHAN - Sakkari shocks Wozniacki

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WTA WUHAN - Sakkari shocks Wozniacki

Qualifier Maria Sakkari earned the biggest win of her career. The only Greek player in top 200 collected the first top 10 victory knocking out No.4 seed Caroline Wozniacki, having previously lost to to Venus Williams at 2016 Wimbledo and 2017 Us Open, to Kerber at 2016 Hong Kong and Konta at 2017 Wimbledon.

Playing this week on a career‐high ranking of No.80. Sakkari hadn't defeated a top 20 before, though she managed to beat the Dane, who leads the WTA in match wins this year, 7-5, 6-3. Contesting only second Premier‐level main draw of 2017 and first since Charleston in April, forced Wozniacki to rely on her defensive style of tennis.

Making fourth appearance at Wuhan after a standout semifinal run in 2014, Wozniacki failed to register her 54th win of the season. The former world No.1 had won their only previous meeting on Fed Cup duty in 2015. She hadn't lost in 11 matches against qualifiers, last losing to Puig at 2016 Eastbourne.

Sakkari, however, managed to generate pace out of the blue and piled the pressure in the second set, staying inside the baseline and blasting winer after winner, collecting the final three games in a row. Through to the third round for the first time, Sakkari will face No.16 seed Elena Vesnina for the first time in her career.

The Russian made her way into the third round after a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Elise Mertens earlier in the day. Top seed Garbiñe Muguruza closed out Tuesday's night session at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open with a fast start and a strong finish during a 6-4, 6-4 win over Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko.

The Spaniard, whose top spot in the WTA rankings comes back in contention this week, is making her fourth consecutive main draw appearance at Wuhan, aiming to equal her best showing, the final run in 2015 (l. V.Williams). Muguruza, sitting atop the Porsche Race to Singapore, gained the 45th win of the season, the 29th on hardcourt.

This match became soon much different from the previous meeting, that Tsurenko won at 2015 Toronto, so Muguruza remained firmly in control and clinched the 25th victory against top 50 opponents in 2017.