WTA Wuhan: Dominika Cibulkova beats ailing Halep, Karolina Pliskova out


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WTA Wuhan: Dominika Cibulkova beats ailing Halep, Karolina Pliskova out

Dominika Cibulkova closes out her 5th win in 7 meetings over Simona Halep. Wins 60 75 to advance to the Round of 16 at Wuhan Open. The Slovak did well to rally from a break down twice in the second set and completed her fifth win over a reigning No.1 in her career.

Qiang Wang and Aryna Sabalenka produced two further shocks. Wang dismissed 61 36 63 Karolina Pliskova while the Belarusian, playing the 31st 3-set match of the season, fought hard to beat No.6 seed Elina Svitolina 6-4 2-6 6-1.

Halep called the trainer, looking at her back, as she lost the opening set. Halep injured it during a practice session with Petra Kvitova on Sunday and got the latest start she could get tonight. She even had the chance to serve out the second set at 5-4 but Cibulkova broke at 15.

The 2016 finalist will meet Daria Kasatkina who saved four match points to fend off an inspired 17yo Wang Xiyu 6-1 3-6 7-6(8) to move into the Round 16. The Chinese showed to have a bright future despite the defeat. “I have no idea [about how I came back]” said Kasatkina, who erased two match points to beat Konta and three to defeat Muguruza in Dubai.

“I was just playing, fighting as always. Maybe just a little bit more experience I have, that’s it. I didn’t expect to become the one with more experience so soon, it’s very weird.” The Chinese player, who won 18 matches and two titles since Wimbledon, sealed the third Top 10 win of her career as she converted nine of her 21 break point chances.

Pliskova, the recent Tokyo champion, were made to pay for her 55 unforced errors to just 27 winners and suffered her first defeat against a Chinese opponent since her loss to Shuai Peng at 2014 Miami. Last year Wang bowed out Sloane Stephens in Wuhan before surrendering to today's opponent.

Having won two titles in four tournaments played on home soil in 2018, Wang is playing 2018 Wuhan ranked at career-high ranking of No.34. The Chinese No.1, whose previous wins over Top 10 players came over No.9 V.Williams at 2018 Roland Garros.

Also defeated No.10 Wozniacki at 2013 Kuala Lumpur, will take on Daria Gavrilova aiming the become the first Chinese quarterfinalist in the tournament's history. Gavrilova overcame Barbora Strycova 6-2 7-6(3) to set up a third-round clash with Wang whom she defeated in their only prior encounter, at Wimbledon in 2016.

Aryna Sabalenka continued her 2018 surge at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open. The Belarusian played 31 third-setters out of 64 matches this season, but she looked fresh enough to celebrate his seventh Top 10 win of the season over former World No.3 Elina Svitolina.

"As long as you mentally stay in the game, you always have a chance to come back," Sabalenka explained, according to WTAtennis.com. "If you go crazy on court, you’ve got no chance. If you think about the next point, that’s the most important thing.

Sometimes, not putting the ball on the line is the key." Sabalenka will now awaits American qualifier Sofia Kenin, who took out Julia Goerges. Katerina Siniakova saved a match point and completed a spectacular comeback, taking down the defending champion and No.4 seed Caroline Garcia in a three-hour 3-6 7-6(5) 7-6(4).

Garcia, trailing 3-2 in their head to head, had triumphed in both hard-court meetings against the Czech. She served for the match at 5-4 in the second set and led 3-1 in the decider but Siniakova claimed her second Top 5 win in her career after she beat No.4 Halep at 2017 Shenzhen.

In 2017 Garcia won titles in both Wuhan and Beijing, a run that propelled her into the WTA’s Top 10 and secured her WTA Finals singles debut. Having now played played 22 WTA main draw three-set matches behind only Sabalenka, Siniakova extended to 13-7 her record in final-set tiebreaks.

She will meet Garbine Muguruza who routed qualifier Viktorija Golubic 6-0 6-1. The 2015 finalist won the lone previous meeting at 2013 Miami in the first round. The 2014 and 2016 champion Petra Kvitova opened her fifth campaign in Wuhan claiming her 47th win the season.

The Czech overcame Aleksandra Krunic 6-3 6-4 to extend to 13-2 her win-loss record in the tournament. “It's great always when you coming somewhere where you know you played well. It's great. It's amazing how the time flies, that it's fifth anniversary of the tournament.

It's pretty impress how everything is going here” Kvitova said before the event. She lost to Krunic in their latest meeting at 2014 Us Open but today she completed an efficient performance marked by 34 winners to Krunic's six and 32 unforced errors to 10.

Kvitova, one of the eight major winners in the main draw, added 13 aces to her tally of 245 for the season. She will face Seoul champion Kiki Bertens, fighting to qualify for the first time to the WTA Finals in singles. Also No.3 seed Angelique Kerber advanced to the third round as World No.18 Madison Keys was forced to retire with a left knee injury when trailing 6-0, 4-1.

The German had 12 winners to 5 against the American, undone by 22 unforced errors, and sealed the eight victory in ten meetings, having won 18 of the 23 sets played. In her first event of the Asian swing Kerber, now owning a 13-11 record against Top 20 players in 2018, clinched the 43rd success of the season.

She will face Ashleigh Barty, trailing 2-1 in their head to heads, in her bid to reach the second quarterfinal in five appearances in Wuhan. The Australian defeated home country favorite Zheng Saisai 4-6 6-1 6-2. Reigning Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki took a 6-4 6-1 win over Rebecca Peterson, playing a Top 10 opponent for the first time in her career.

Peterson, one of six qualifiers to reach the second round, started confidently off the forehand side but soon Wozniacki began to exacerbate her frailties attacking her inconsistent backhand. The Dane, whose last loss to a qualifier came at 2017 Wuhan against Maria Sakkari, moved to the third round at a WTA tournament since her title run in Eastbourne.

Seeded No.2 this week, the highest she has been seeded here, the 2014 semifinalist entered the tournament ranked No.4 on tour in break points converted (51.4%) on tour. She added further five to her proficient season and finished the match with fewer winners, 15 to 19, but more relevantly hitting nine unforced errors to Peterson's 36. Wozniacki will face another tough test in her next match as she meet Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig.

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