Thursday’s Set Points, Beijing Day 6: Upsets aplenty, Svitolina d. Kerber and Zhang d. Halep

Set Points

Elina Svitolina sealed a second straight sets win over a world number one this year with a 6-3 7-5 triumph over Angelique Kerber… of all the players to achieve this feat, Svitolina is not someone i’d expect to do this! Credit though to Elina who served both sets out at the first time of asking, saving six break points at *5-3 to win the opener. This was noteable after Svitolina had twice failed to serve out the match against Kerber in Montreal earlier this year. It sounds like Kerber was struggling with a leg injury.

There was another upset in the evening session as Zhang Shuai sauntered past Simona Halep, 6-0 6-3. It was quite the scoreline with Zhang coming from an early break down in the second set too. The Chinese player broke through at the Australian Open with a fairytale run to the quarter-finals, one of the storylines of the year so far. Zhang has posted some solid results during the year but is peaking once more in the Asian swing.

This was pretty deep from Zhang after the match.

Zhang will play Johanna Konta in a Wuhan rematch on Friday after the Brit produced another gutsy display, beating Karolina Pliskova for the first time. Pliskova had won all five of their previous matches but Konta edged a nailbiter, saving three break points at 5-5 in the decider and running away with the final set tiebreak to post a 6-1 3-6 7-6(2) victory. Konta is still in the hunt for one of the final spots in singles for Singapore and although Zhang’s form has been impressive this week, Konta’s won their two 2016 clashes both in straight sets.

Talking of repeat match-ups, in their third match in as many weeks, Agnieszka Radwanska defeated Caroline Wozniacki, 6-3 6-1, winning 12 of the last 14 games. It was their most one-sided match of the trio; Wozniacki was going for her shots and coming forward, even more so than Radwanska! However the Dane was not particularly accurate and missing a lot. I wonder if her recent schedule and the leg, which was still strapped up, may have contributed to the aggressive gameplan. Radwanska was reallly good…

Radwanska’s quarter-final opponent is yet to be determined due to the weather… Yaroslava Shvedova and Alizé Cornet are set to play their third round match at 10am local time on Friday in the first match up on the Moon Court.

Radwanska will be the favourite to come through from the top half… the other quarter-final will be contested between Elina Svitolina and Daria Gavrilova. The Aussie beat Caroline Garcia, 6-4 6-3 to match her best performance in a WTA tournament this year which was a quarter-final in the Premier Mandatory tournament in Madrid.

Svitolina’s the seed but it has been a good match-up for Gavrilova who has won all three of their 2016 clashes (including in the final of the Hopman Cup) in straight sets. Svitolina’s been playing well this week but i’d be tempted to side with Gavrilova.

 

The first of the women’s quarter-finals was decided on Wednesday and will be first up on Friday with Madison Keys taking on Petra Kvitova. For a full preview of that match, click on the link below.

While the race to Singapore hots up in singles, the line-up for the doubles is all set… and it’s looking great!

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7 thoughts on “Thursday’s Set Points, Beijing Day 6: Upsets aplenty, Svitolina d. Kerber and Zhang d. Halep

  1. Good win for Elina Svitolina here; I’m wondering if this is the fruit of her collaboration with Justine Henin, especially the comment about “not eating yourself up from the inside”! I think Angie Kerber should rest now until Singapore and not play in Hong Kong; she was exhausted in her last HK final against JJ and I’d be surprised if she’d be any better this time round. Looks like she’s carrying a leg injury too.

    What a rally between Aga and Caroline; reminds me why I follow tennis.

    Good win from Zhang too, but I was taken aback by the scoreline; Simona only won three games. Is she OK now. or yet another one getting very tired at the end of the WTA season?

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    • I hope Kerber rests up for Singapore also.

      And I was also taken aback by the Halep-Zhang scoreline. I watched snippets of the match, something seemed up with Halep. She looked distant at times and pretty wild hitting. She had 2 BPs to go up 4-1 in the second set and then 2 game points at 3-1. It all turned around again after those two games.

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  2. Don’t know why but I really dislike watching Svitolina. Do not understand me in a wrong way please – she seems to be a very nice person and a fighter – but she has not a single shot/ technique that is unique or that caracterizes her. It’s just boring (?!) in a way I cannot describe. However, beating two world no 1’s in one year plus being constantly inside Top 20 is an amazing achievement. She is a really good counter puncher and really fit and she’s making the most out of her talent. I cannot see her making the top 10 though let alone win a slam. There will always be players with the special shot/technique/mindset beating her.

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    • She’s probably the fastest girl on the wta right now. She doesn’t have a defining shot YET. But Kerber didn’t at her age. Vinci didn’t have one at her age, either. She’s actually strong on both wings and I think Henin should push to develope her down the line shots as she hits those wonderfully when she’s confident.

      I’ve always believed in Svitolina and I’m pleased its all coming together. There was a point in the middle of the year where she was fast falling to pieces, but then came the QF at the Olympics and its been strength to strength since then.

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      • Didn’t know you’re a fan 😉 Well you’re right – she’s still young. There might still be a career defining development.

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      • I am! I think she’s basically a new and improved version of Wozniacki. She’s capable of putting a bit more sting on her groundstrokes and seems a little more comfortable being more aggressive, though thats an area she’s still working on.
        Her net game has been a big problem (much like Kasatkina). She was looking so nervous to come in behind a strike and finish it and so ended up either missing by large margins or putting the rally back into neutral. I feel like doubles would help her immensely and that it has been fairly bad for her year having Henin and Ian Hughes FORCING her to get up to the net when she clearly hasn’t been comfortable doing so, It does seem to be paying off now, but they may as well have left it until the off season by this point.

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