The 26-year-old Chinese Qiang Wang has won her first WTA title at home in Nanching when her compatriot and the 6th seed Saisai Zheng had to retire while trailing 5-7 0-4 after an hour and 21 minutes. This is the first unfinished WTA final since Wuhan Open in 2015 and the first with two players from the same country since the last year's US Open, also the third all-Chinese.
Zheng had won their previous match at Wimbledon this year but her body let her down today after a great battle in the opening set, struggling more and more in the rest of the encounter before she decided to retire while trailing 40-0 in the fifth game of the second set.
Wang is the fourth first-time winner on the Tour in 2018 after Naomi Osaka, Aleksandra Krunic and Tatjana Maria, and she had to work hard to avoid the setback in the opening set. Zheng broke in the very first game of the match and she served well to open a 5-3 advantage, dropping four points in the first four service games.
Wang bounced back in game 10, converting her third break point to level the score at 5-5 with an amazing forehand down the line return that Saisai failed to control. Qiang had the momentum now and she held at 15 to move 6-5 ahead, breaking again in game 12 to win the opener 7-5 in just over 50 minutes.
Zheng was more and more tired and she left the court in tears after retiring in the fifth game of the second set, handing the win to her rival who became the eight Chinese players with a WTA title in singles. Final result: