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!