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Rediff.com  » Sports » Tennis Roundup: Kvitova and Svitolina make early exits in China

Tennis Roundup: Kvitova and Svitolina make early exits in China

September 29, 2018 21:07 IST

Petra Kvitova

IMAGE: Kvitova was undermined by her own inconsistency, making 39 unforced errors. Photograph: Jason Lee/Reuters

Unseeded Australian Daria Gavrilova upset fifth seed Petra Kvitova, of the Czech Republic, 6-2, 6-1 in the first round of the China Open on Saturday as Serbia's Aleksandra Krunic showed stunning powers of recovery to pull off her own shock win over sixth seed Elina Svitolina.

Kvitova was undermined by her own inconsistency, making 39 unforced errors, while Gavrilova made just 12.

"Petra is a really tough opponent. It was a little bit tricky ... but I felt like I took my chances and I served really well today," said Gavrilova, who landed 81 percent of her first serves.

 

Krunic staged a remarkable rally in Beijing, after trailing by a set and a break, to beat Svitolina 0-6, 6-4, 7-6(4) for her first victory over the Ukrainian on her third attempt.

Krunic lost the first nine games of the match and trailed by a break three times in the final set, clawing herself back to level terms on each occasion before winning a dramatic tiebreak.

Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko was given a tough examination by Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova but held her nerve, claiming six points in a row in another tense tiebreak to win 6-4, 7-6(3) and will next face Chinese wild card Wang Qiang.

Briton Johanna Konta was beaten by 10th seed Julia Goerges, of Germany, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.

Goerges sent down 12 aces and struck 42 winners, while making 29 unforced errors as she sealed victory in two hours and 15 minutes.

Nishioka halts Verdasco in Shenzhen semi-finals

Unseeded Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka stunned Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco in the semi-finals of the Shenzhen Open on Saturday, winning a final-set tiebreak to set up a meeting with Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the final.

Herbert saved two match points to upset seventh seed Alex de Minaur 7-5, 2-6, 7-6(8) in the other semi-final.

Verdasco, who beat Britain's Andy Murray in the previous round, made a confident start against Nishioka, but the Japanese fought back to win 1-6, 6-3, 7-6(5) to reach the first ATP Tour final of his career.

Nishioka, who lost to Verdasco at this year's French Open, roared back after tamely surrendering the opening set and kept his wits about him in the tiebreak to wrap up his first career victory over the Spaniard in two hours 20 minutes.

Herbert is better known for his skill as a doubles player, but reached his second career ATP World Tour final after surviving a De Minaur fightback in the second set.

The Australian clawed his back from 3-0 down in the final set to force the tiebreak and even had two chances to win the match, but Herbert was equal to the task.

The Frenchman saved the first match point with a volley under pressure and shut out De Minaur a second time with an overhead smash before sealing victory with his 42nd winner of the contest.

Australia's Tomic to face top seed Fognini in Chengdu final

Australian Bernard Tomic reached his first ATP World Tour final in more than two years on Saturday, beating Portugal's Joao Sousa 6-4, 6-4 in the semi-finals of the Chengdu Open in China.

The 25-year-old will face top seed Fabio Fognini in Sunday's final, after the Italian beat American Taylor Fritz 6-7(5), 6-0, 6-3 in the other semi-final.

Tomic, who sent down 12 aces and saved all three break points he faced to beat Sousa in one hour 15 minutes, is finally returning to something like his best tennis after a slump that has seen his ranking drop to 123 in the world.

The last time the Australian found himself in a position to fight for a tour-level title was in Acapulco in February 2016, where he lost to Dominic Thiem.

"Fabio is playing ridiculous, he has won three titles this year and he wants to win another one," Tomic said.

"He wants to make the (ATP Finals) so for him this is an important match, but I have got nothing to lose. We will see tomorrow."

Fognini, the world number 13, is looking to become the first Italian man to win four ATP tour-level titles in a season, after his victories in Sao Paulo, Bastad and Los Cabos.

He fought back after losing a first set tie-break to Fritz to claim his 40th tour-level win of the season in one hour 49 minutes.

"It's my best year so far. I'm really happy that the first time I visit Chengdu, I am in my first final," Fognini said.

Dominant Sabalenka beats Kontaveit to Wuhan title

Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus beat Estonia's Anett Kontaveit 6-3, 6-3 in the final of the Wuhan Open on Saturday to claim her second title of the season.

Sabalenka, who won her first title at New Haven last month, served impeccably during her first career meeting with Kontaveit, winning in one hour 12 minutes without facing a break point.

"I want to say first of all, congratulations Anett, you played really well today and I'm sorry," Sabalenka said before collecting the trophy. "I think we both showed our best tennis.

"Thank you everyone for your support. It's been an amazing week for me."

Sabalenka showed signs of early nerves and the first five points Kontaveit won all resulted from unforced errors by her opponent, but the Belarusian was clinical when it counted, converting her first break point chance to edge ahead.

She won 78 percent of her first serves and scorched the court from behind the baseline while showing a surprisingly deft touch at the net.

Kontaveit fought gamely in the face of the onslaught but had few answers to Sabalenka's power and guile.

The Estonian, who managed 10 clear winners and made half as many unforced errors, paid the price for landing just 45 percent of her first serves.

Up a break in the second set, Sabalenka moved in for the kill, claiming 16 of the final 20 points and sealing victory with her 25th winner of the match, a thunderous forehand down the line.

Victory means the Belarusian will rise four places to 16th in the world, above Serena Williams, when the new WTA rankings are released on Monday.

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