After a soggy Tuesday at the China Open, Wednesday saw the conclusion of second round matches. First up on the Lotus Court and Moon Court respectively were Karolina Pliskova and Johanna Konta who won their matches in contrasting fashion. Pliskova was forced to save a match point in a thrilling, 3-6 7-5 7-6(7) win over Daria Kasatkina. The 19-year-old played a great point at 6-6 in the tiebreak but will want to play her match point again as she rather tamely went wide on a Pliskova second serve. The Czech player finished the match off in classy fashion with a lob and a return winner.
Konta was a break down in the first set of her match against Timea Babos and two points from dropping the first set at *4-5 *0-30. The Brit soon turned things around and drew away at pace, winning 7-5 6-2. Pliskova and Konta will meet for the sixth time on Thursday in the first match up on the Lotus Court. For a full preview including a look at their past meetings, check out the link below.
Angelique Kerber twice failed to serve out her match against a game, Barbora Strycova but her greater precision from the baseline eventually paid dividends as she came away with a 6-3 7-6(4) victory. There were some stunning shots in this match including the hot shot of the day that saw Kerber broke to lead *6-5 in the second set.
Next up for Kerber will be Elina Svitolina who navigated her way past Sabine Lisicki, 6-4 6-4. Kerber and Svitolina last played in Montreal where Svitolina twice failed to serve out the match before Kerber prevailed in three gruelling sets.
Caroline Garcia won her fourth consecutive three set match on tour with a hard fought 6-3 3-6 7-6(4) victory against Peng Shuai.
Garcia plays Daria Gavrilova in the third round after the Aussie came from a set down and won nine straight games in the middle of the match, before serving out the win over the number 12 seed Timea Bacsinszky, 4-6 6-0 6-4. I wish this match had been streamed because there were some baffling stats! Bacsinszky missed just one point on her first serve in the second set (93% first serves in ) yet she won just four points on serve and was handed a bagel set.
It’s a great opportunity in the third round for both Gavrilova and Garcia to score big ranking points. Gavrilova leads the head-to-head, 2-0 and won their most recent match in Cincinnati earlier this summer, 7-5 6-3.
In other Gavrilova-related news, it was confirmed that she will be pairing up with Nick Kyrgios to defend their Hopman Cup title. The line-up of all eight pairs is now complete…
Australia: Daria Gavrilova and Nick Kyrgios
Czech Republic: Petra Kvitova and Adam Pavlasek
France: Kristina Mladenovic and Richard Gasquet
Germany: Andrea Petkovic and Alexander Zverev
Great Britain: Heather Watson and Dan Evans
Spain: Lara Arruabarrena and Feliciano Lopez
Switzerland: Belinda Bencic and Roger Federer
United States: CoCo Vandeweghe and Jack Sock
There are some great pairings and i’m most excited to see Bencic-Federer and Petkovic-Zverev… as both pairs are in the same group, that’s a guaranteed mixed doubles match!
Finally, in the first of the third round matches, Petra Kvitova and Madison Keys advanced in straight sets to set up a booming quarter-final for Friday. Kvitova continued her excellent recent form with a comfortable 6-1 6-4 victory over Garbiñe Muguruza where she didn’t drop serve once.
Keys had a tougher match against Svetlana Kuznetsova, fighting back from 2-5 and two breaks down in the first set before eventually winning in straights, 7-6(2) 6-2. WTA highlights from both matches are provided below…