After a couple of days of play marred by retirements in Wuhan, Tuesday saw completed action in its entirety, with defending champion Venus Williams opening her title defence. The other WTA tournament this week, in Tashkent, saw some spirited performances as well.
Here’s a detailed look at the day’s results in both tournaments: Wuhan Open Second Round Angelique Kerber won her first match as the world no. 1 though it wasn’t exactly smooth-sailing for her against Kristina Mladenovic.
The German needed three sets to fend off the Frenchwoman, who won the opening set against Kerber in the tie-break. However, Kerber righted things as she proceeded ahead into the third round with a 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-4 win. Petra Kvitova will take on Kerber in the third round after the 14th seed won her second round against Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-1 in an hour.
Kerber leads their head-to-head narrowly, 5-4, with her last win coming in the fourth round at this year’s US Open. Sixth seeded and defending champion Venus Williams needed just 49 minutes to defeat Yulia Putintseva.
The American won 6-3, 6-2 and next awaits ninth seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova in the pre-quarters. Kuznetsova won her second round against Madison Brengle 6-0, 6-4 in 63 minutes. The two have split their eight past meetings equally, though their last meeting came almost seven years ago, at the Doha Open in 2009.
Williams had won that match in three sets. Dominika Cibulkova will meet Karolina Pliskova in the third round after the 10th seeded Slovakian defeated Laura Siegemund 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 16 minutes. Both players struggled with their serve.
Siegemund had nine double faults while Cibulkova had five. In terms of points won off their serves, while Siegemund won 53% and 38% points off her first and second serves respectively, Cibulkova won 57% and 26% points. Caroline Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska will clash against each other for the second time in as many weeks after both won their second round matches.
Wozniacki defeated qualifier Katerina Siniakova 6-4, 6-4, while Radwanska came through against Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 6-1. Given that Wozniacki had won their last encounter in Tokyo last week, en route to winning the title, it will be interesting to see whether Radwanska is able to tilt the scales this time around.
The win was also the 500th match win for the Dane. Eighth seeded Madison Keys will take on Russian qualifier Daria Kasatkina in the pre-quarters after each won their respective matches today. Keys defeated Caroline Garcia 6-3, 6-4 and Kasatkina defeated fellow qualifier Louisa Chirico 6-1, 6-1 in 49 minutes.
Johanna Konta defeated Shuai Zhang 6-3, 6-3 and will meet Carla Suarez Navarro in the third round. The 11th seed won 64% points on her first serve and 57% points on her second serve and converted five of the 10 break points she had on Zhang’s serve.
She was also broken twice over the course of the one-and-a-half hour encounter and had four double faults. Yaroslava Shvedova upset 13th seed Roberta Vinci 7-5, 6-2 and will meet fourth seed Simona Halep in the third round.
However, with Halep withdrawing during her doubles match because of a freak injury, it remains to be seen whether their third round match-up does take place. Barbora Strycova needed three sets to defeat Misaki Doi. The Czech lost the opening set, but bounced back strongly over the course of the next two sets to win 5-7, 6-0, 6-2.
Next up for the Czech is Jelena Jankovic, who upset second seed Garbine Muguruza and defending finalist in the last match of the day. The Serbian won 6-4, 7-6 (2) in an hour and 40 minutes over the Spaniard, who never seemed to get settled.
Jankovic had a chance to serve out the match in the 12th game after she broke Muguruza in the game prior, but she was broken right back. However in the tie-break, it was pretty-much one-sided in favour of the Serbian as she dropped just two points before clinching the win. IN THE NEXT PAGE: WTA TASHKENT RESULTS