The first four second round matches took place on Wednesday in Hong Kong. The first result of the day saw the number seven seed, Daria Gavrilova turn the tables on Shelby Rogers from their recent encounter that broke records at the US Open. Gavrilova won, 6-1 2-6 6-2 in one hour and 44 minutes, taking one hour and 47 minutes less than their match in New York!
Naomi Osaka scored her first top ten win at the US Open and today, scored her first top five win, beating Venus Williams, 7-5 6-2. The Japanese player arrived at this tournament on a five match losing streak but is now into the quarter-finals of Hong Kong. From 3-5 down in the first set, Osaka reeled off ten straight games as she took control of rallies and cranked up the aggression on an increasingly laboured Williams serve, which produced seven double faults.
Venus gave plenty of credit to Naomi after the match. It was clear how much this win meant to Naomi who clapped Venus off at the end.
From 3-6 4-4 and break point down, Sam Stosur held serve and then went onto to win the last eight games, beating a fading Agnieszka Radwanska, 3-6 6-4 6-0. Stosur played a stunning third set, dropping just two points on serve and pushing Radwanska back with awesome power and touch.
It was the first time since four months out with a hand fracture that Stosur has won back-to-back matches on tour and she seemed genuinely thrilled in the post-match interview, stating that even when down in the scoreline she was really enjoying the match. For Radwanska, it was another tough loss from a winning position – her three losses through Asia have all been from a set up.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova twice failed to serve out the opener against American, Jacqueline Cako, yet came through in the first set tiebreak before rolling through the second set. Pavs through, 7-6(3) 6-1.
Pavs vs. Osaka in the quarters in a first time match-up – liking it! 👍👍👍
Tianjin finally got some tennis with the two highest profile names in the draw going 1-1. Maria Sharapova beat the number nine seed, Irina-Camelia Begu, 6-4 6-2, while Zhu Lin knocked out the number two seed, Petra Kvitova, 6-4 5-7 6-4. Petra rallied in the second set from a break down and was on the comeback in the third from a double break down too. Zhu Lin eventually served out the match to 15 on her fourth match point.
Three more seeds fell on the first day of main draw action in Tianjin:
Wang Yafan condemned the number eight seed, Alison Riske to a fifth consecutive loss, 6-3 6-3.
Beatriz Haddad Maia overturned a 2-6 1-6 loss to Donna Vekic at the US Open, recovering to win in three against the number four seed, 6-7(4) 6-4 6-2.
Duan Ying-Ying upset the number seven seed, Lesia Tsurenko, 6-4 7-6(2), for the fourth top 50 win of her season.
Sara Errani has made her comeback from a drugs ban this week and with much success. The Italian player won through two rounds of qualifying and dropped just three games in a first round win over Kateryna Kozlova.
Over in Linz, the first round concluded with wins for the number two and five seeds, Barbora Strycova and Sorana Cirstea respectively. Viktorija Golubic beat the number six seed, Katerina Siniakova in three sets. Siniakova’s year has been spearheaded by two stunning title wins in Shenzhen and Bastad which make up almost half of her wins in 2017. Since winning Bastad, Siniakova has won just two matches out of ten.
Belinda Bencic enjoyed another three set win, beating Lara Arruabarrena, 6-3 2-6 6-3. BB served well again and dropped just seven points in the decider, serving out the match to love. Next up for Bencic is Mihaela Buzarnescu in the quarter-finals. Bencic will be seeking to reach a first WTA semi-final since 2016, while Buzarnescu will be going for her first WTA semi-final… ever!
And finally, entry list news for tournaments in Australia is coming thick and fast – Ash Barty is confirmed for Brisbane.