Sunday’s action in Beijing saw the continuation of the first round with the first night match between Sloane Stephens and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova bringing the drama. Aside from the retirements of two seeds, it was a mostly routine day for the seeds. The first round continues again on Monday along with the start of the second round. Read on for four stories in Sunday’s Set Points post from Beijing.
Garcia outlasts Wang Yafan
Caroline Garcia began her title defence in Beijing with a hard fought win over Chinese player, Wang Yafan. Garcia won, 6-7(10) 7-6(4) 6-2 in three hours and two minutes. Garcia saved two set points in the first set tiebreak, both with fabulous forehands. She came close to winning in straights having been way down in the second and coming back to force a tiebreak. Wang battled well to deservedly force a decider.
It was a muddled display from Garcia who struggled to string solid points together and continually seemed to doubt herself against a competent opponent. There must be a lot of pressure on her shoulders with so many of her ranking points up on the chopping block. A win is a win…
Sunday’s night session between Sloane Stephens and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova came with a splash of unexpected drama. Towards the end of the second set, Stephens expressed her disapproval when Pavlyuchenkova asked for the physio with Stephens about to serve for the second set at *5-2. The pair exchanged words at the end of the second set and the umpire had to intervene. I did not expect such drama 😲.
Later on in the third set, Stephens took exception to Pavs hitting a shot at her. The camera panned on her as she walked back and you could quite easily lipread… “that f’ing bitch tried to hit me”. The WTA seemed to have removed the video they put up earlier for this point! I’m not a fan of the ease at which players can call medical time-outs. However, I didn’t like the comment from Sloane, particularly when she called her opponent disrespectful earlier in the match. While the drama livened up my Sunday afternoon, I was pleased to see the pair iron out their differences at the end of the match with a lengthy chat at the net.
All in all, a good win for an increasingly aggressive, Stephens who came from a set down to win, 6-7(8) 6-4 6-4 in two hours and 53 minutes. This was Stephens’s first win during the Asian swing since 2015.
Halep retires vs. Jabeur
Simona Halep was forced to retire from her first round match in Beijing against Ons Jabeur after losing the first set, 6-1. I was surprised to see Halep even take to the court as she continues to battle a lower back injury picked up in Wuhan. I hope she will be OK for Singapore. Halep is stated to play Moscow. I think her participation in Russia is related to her not playing the desired quota of Premier tournaments so far this year?
GBBO 2018 Week 5 bake
I destroyed the kitchen on Sunday with an Italian meringue ginger cake 😂.