WTA Wuhan: Petra Kvitova makes winning start. Vekic, Kerber, Wozniacki lose

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WTA Wuhan: Petra Kvitova makes winning start. Vekic, Kerber, Wozniacki lose

The last Premier 5 event of the WTA season is off and running in Wuhan, with 17 encounters that made the Monday's schedule. The inaugural champion Petra Kvitova is through to the third round after a 7-6, 6-3 win over Polona Hercog in an hour and 42 minutes in a mighty close encounter with five break points in total!

Petra saved both opportunities offered to Polona to avoid the setback, saving a set point in the tie break and moving over the top with a single break in game two that pushed her into the last 16. There were no break chances in the opening set and the tie break was intense as well, with eight mini-breaks in the first nine points and a set point for Hercog at 6-5.

Petra saved it and won the last three points for an 8-6, stealing the set and opening a 4-2 lead in the second after the only break of the match. Polona repelled a match point in the eighth game before Kvitova sealed the deal on own serve in the nest game after a great battle.

A lucky loser Ons Jabeur defeated the 16th seed Donna Vekic 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and 51 minutes, beating the Croat for the third time in four encounters. Ons got broken four times and earned six breaks from seven opportunities, mastering the pace in set number two and overcoming a 2-0 deficit in the decider to grab six of the last seven games thanks to breaks in games four and eight that propelled her into the second round.

Alison Riske needed two hours and 25 minutes to oust Kateryna Kozlova 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, saving nine out of 13 break points and stealing the American's serve six times from ten chances, coming from a break down in the decider to move over the top.

Yulia Putintseva had to retire against Svetlana Kuznetsova while trailing 6-1, 1-0 after 36 minutes, unable to recover in time after the quarter-final loss to Naomi Osaka in Osaka last week. Christina McHale took down the 14th seed Anastasija Sevastova while Monica Puig sent out the struggling German Angelique Kerber 7-6, 5-7, 6-1 in two hours and 46 minutes, wasting two match points in the second set and leaving it behind to dominate in the decider and cross the finish line first.

Su-Wei Hsieh defeated Caroline Wozniacki 6-7, 6-1, 6-2 in just over two hours, climbing back from 5-1 down in the opener before Caroline won the tie break 7-2. Su-Wei took charge after that, scoring two breaks in set number two and two more at the beginning of the decider to rattle off nine straight games and seal the deal in style.

Petra Martic toppled Kristina Mladenovic 6-2, 6-2 in 70 minutes, taking 55% of the return points and stealing the rival's serve five times to control the scoreboard and earn the fifth straight victory over Kristina.