Thursday was a disappointing day for the crowd in Hong Kong as half of the scheduled singles matches didn’t take to the court – the number one and three seeds, Elina Svitolina and Caroline Wozniacki respectively were both forced to pull out of the tournament ahead of their second round matches.
Nicole Gibbs received a walkover from Svitolina, who pulled out with the right leg injury which she had the trainer on for during her first round win over Zarina Diyas. Lizette Cabrera received a walkover from Wozniacki, who pulled out with an elbow injury in practice. You could hear the wobble in Wozniacki’s voice as she addressed the crowd who was clearly very disappointed.
Both Svitolina and Wozniacki now have ten days to prepare for the WTA Finals in Singapore.
In the two matches that did take to the court, Wang Qiang and Jennifer Brady both won in straight sets. Brady has had a peculiar year in that her seven wins on tour prior to Hong Kong had all come at the Slams. The American’s 6-3 6-4 win over the number eight seed, Zhang Shuai was her third top 50 win of 2017.
It’s a shame that many of the high profile names have departed the draw in Hong Kong. Here’s the quarter-final line-up for Friday.
Pavs vs. Osaka is definitely the star of the show for me.
Tianjin has also seen an exodus of the seeds with the number three seed, Peng Shuai the only one remaining. The draw still holds Maria Sharapova, who beat Magda Linette, 7-5 6-3, and Sara Errani who had an excellent win over Beatriz Haddad Maia, 6-4 4-6 6-3. A beaming opportunity for Sharapova to get a title here.
The quarter-final line-up for Tianjin is linked below – i’m disappointed we didn’t get Sharapova vs. Putintseva!
In Linz, Barbora Strycova, Magdalena Rybarikova, Johanna Larsson, Viktorija Golubic and Sorana Cirstea all advanced to the quarter-finals. I watched the first set of Rybarikova’s 7-6(4) 6-3 win over Carina Witthoeft which was pretty decent – Magda’s point construction 😍.
The Linz tournament are doing a great job on social media with many of the press conferences shared on Wednesday – Belinda Bencic’s press conference after her second round win over Lara Arruabarrena is linked below.
By virtue of Johanna Konta’s withdrawal from Moscow due to a left foot injury, the line-up for the 2017 WTA Finals in Singapore is set. An incredible effort from Caroline Garcia to nick the final spot after winning Wuhan and Beijing.
Jo posted an update on social media.
I’m sad for Jo but this is an awesome line-up and i’m excited, definitely more so than last year. I’m also kind of relieved it didn’t come down to Moscow and all the players will get to rest up rather than trying to qualify like last year. Ostapenko is currently on the entry list for Moscow but I am wondering whether she will skip it in preparation for Singapore.
The line-up for Brisbane is looking good, particularly on the ATP side. There are apparently ongoing talks with Serena Williams…
And finally, Rebecca Marino’s story is one that I always remember.
I’ll be quiet on the blog for the next few days as i’m going back home home to the Isle of Wight for the weekend. The aim is to be back with a post on Sunday to wrap up the finals for this week’s tournaments and preview the last week (!) of regulation WTA tournaments before Singapore.