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Rediff.com  » Sports » Tennis Round-up: Murray to end season after playing in Shenzhen and Beijing

Tennis Round-up: Murray to end season after playing in Shenzhen and Beijing

September 22, 2018 18:23 IST

Andy Murray

IMAGE: Andy Murray. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Andy Murray will end his season after playing in the Shenzhen and Beijing tournaments over the next two weeks to be "in the best possible shape" for the Australian Open in January," the Scot said on Saturday.

The former world number one returned to the ATP tour in June after having hip surgery in January and has played nine competitive matches this year.

 

He will skip the two Masters series events in Shanghai and Paris next month.

"I'm competing this week in Shenzhen and then next week in Beijing before calling an end to the year competitively and I'm going to miss the last couple of tournaments to the year," the 31-year-old said in video posted on Facebook.

"I need a lot of training and reconditioning to get myself in the best shape possible for the beginning of the 2019 season and to get myself back competing for the biggest tournaments again."

Murray withdrew from Wimbledon and lost in the second round at the US Open last month.

"I'm looking forward to getting some hard training done and making some more improvements. It's been really positive the last few months and I feel like I've made big strides forward in the rehab from the hip surgery," he added.

China's Wang wins second WTA title with Guangzhou triumph

China's Qiang Wang

IMAGE: China's Qiang Wang. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

China's Wang Qiang picked up her second career WTA title with a surprisingly straightforward 6-1 6-2 victory over Yulia Putintseva in the final of the Gunagzhou International Women's Open on Saturday.

It was the second title on home soil for he two-time Asian Games singles champion, who defeated compatriot Zheng Saisai to win the Jiangxi Open in Nanchang in July.

Wang hit 25 winners to just 16 unforced errors during the match and broke her Kazakh opponent five times to win the title without dropping a set all week. She saved all three break points she faced in the match.

The withdrawal of defending champion Zhang Shuai and Wang's title win on Saturday will see her become China's top-ranked player when she climbs seven places to a career-high 34th on Monday.

Osaka wins 10th straight match to power into Tokyo final

US Open champion Naomi Osaka stormed past Italy's Camila Giorgi 6-2, 6-3 on Saturday to reach the final of the Pan Pacific Open, where she will face Karolina Pliskova.

Osaka's victory in front of an expectant home crowd was her 10th in a row and did not look in doubt from the moment she pounded down a huge ace with her first serve of the match.

The 20-year-old, who became Japan's first ever Grand Slam singles champion in New York two weeks ago, hit a further eight aces to overwhelm world number 37 Giorgi.

Osaka has carried the poise and power that saw her overcome Serena Williams in the Flushing Meadows final across the Pacific with her and, helped by eight double-faults from Giorgi, wrapped up the victory in just 72 minutes.

A runner up at this event two years ago, Osaka has not dropped a set so far this week and has had her service broken just once.

She will face world number eight Pliskova in the final after the Czech outlasted Croatia's Donna Vekic 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 in a topsy-turvy match that lasted over two hours.

Pliskova has spent more time on court than any other player at this tournament despite a first round bye and was once again dragged into a long contest by a dogged Vekic.

The former world number one started as if intent on finishing the contest as quickly as possible and stormed into an early 4-0 lead before wrapping up the first set in under half an hour.

Vekic, though, had defeated top 10 players Sloane Stephens and Caroline Garcia on route to the last four and recovered from an early break of serve in the second set to secure two breaks of her own.

Pliskova looked tired but dug deep in the third set and the quality of her superior hitting eventually told as she broke Vekic's resolve.

Currently just outside the top eight qualifying places for the WTA Finals in Singapore, Pliskova has now spent 420 minutes on court in Tokyo compared to 222 minutes for Osaka.

Source:
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