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Tennis roundup: Pliskova wins her fourth title of 2019

September 15, 2019 22:36 IST

Karolina Pliskova

IMAGE: World No 2 Karolina Pliskova won the 15th WTA singles title of her career and her first in China. Photograph: WTA/Twitter

World number two Karolina Pliskova beat Croatia's Petra Martic 6-3, 6-2 in the final of the inaugural Zhengzhou Open on Sunday to win the 15th WTA singles title of her career and her first in China.

The title was the Czech's fourth of the season to add to trophies won in Brisbane, Rome and Eastbourne -- moving her ahead of Australian world number one Ash Barty and Canadian Bianca Andreescu for most titles won so far this year.

 

Pliskova won 74% of her first service points, fired seven aces and broke the Croatian four times in a rain-interrupted match that was initially delayed by more than five hours due to heavy rain.

Martic, who held a superior 4-1 head-to-head record against Pliskova and also beat her at Roland Garros earlier this year, took a 2-0 lead in the first set when she broke the top seed in the opening game.

However, that was the only time Pliskova conceded a break of serve and she soon took control with powerful groundstrokes, using the full width of the court to smash winners and passing shots with precision.

Martic's service game suffered -- she won only 53% of her first service points -- and Pliskova duly took advantage to punish the seventh seed and win five games in a row.

Pliskova's consistency in the baseline rallies was a force to reckon with and Martic had no answer to her superior court coverage, eventually conceding the 96-minute match after saving one championship point.

Peterson eases to maiden WTA title in Nanchang

Rebecca Peterson

IMAGE: Rebecca Peterson, 24, broke her Kazakh opponent five times and smashed 13 winners in a match that lasted exactly one hour. Photograph: Al Bello/Getty Images

Sweden's Rebecca Peterson brushed aside Elena Rybakina 6-2, 6-0 to win her maiden WTA title at the Jiangxi Open in Nanchang on Sunday.

Peterson, 24, broke her Kazakh opponent five times and smashed 13 winners in a match that lasted exactly one hour.

Fatigue seemed to play a part for Rybakina, who was involved in three-setters in both her quarter-final and semi-final matches that finished late.

The 20-year-old made 11 unforced errors and won only 48% of her first service points in the final. In contrast, Peterson won 83% of her first service points.

Peterson was also aided by Rybakina's double fault in the opening game of the first set that immediately swung the momentum in the Swede's favour.

Although Rybakina tried to dictate rallies using her power, it was Peterson who finished off points, winning nine straight games to bagel the fourth seed in the second set and clinch the title.

Hibino beats doubles partner Doi to clinch Hiroshima title

Japan's Nao Hibino beat compatriot and doubles partner Misaki Doi 6-3, 6-2 at the Hana-cupid Japan Women's Open in Hiroshima on Sunday to win her first WTA title since 2015.

The two unseeded players were playing in the first all-Japanese WTA Tour final in 22 years and Hibino, who ousted top seed Hsieh Su-Wei in the quarter-finals, wrapped up the contest in 68 minutes.

Although Doi broke early twice in the opening set to take a 3-1 lead, Hibino stormed back into the tie to win the next nine games to swing the momentum her way.

"I was so nervous today, so much more than the semi-finals," Hibino said. "But because I experienced being nervous in the semi-finals, I knew what to expect. I was able to stay positive during the match today."

Hibino broke Doi seven times in the match and won 71% of her first service points to win her second career title since her maiden win at the Tashkent Open four years ago.

Doi made 14 unforced errors in the opening set alone and did not recover until going down 4-0 in the second set.

"She was playing well. Today, she was persistent," Doi said. "She has a strong backhand but she was also using her forehand to structure points well, giving me very little chance to play my game.

"I learned to believe in my own game and never give up this week. What I learned will be useful as I head to Osaka."

Doi did not go home empty handed, though, as she teamed up with Hibino to beat Christina McHale and Valeria Savinykh 3-6 6-4 10-4 in the doubles final.

"I've watched Misaki struggle with a drop in her ranking and have been happy to watch her get her ranking up," Hibino added.

"I think hard work has paid off for both of us because we are both in the finals of this tournament in Japan."

Both players will crack into the top 100 when the WTA rankings are updated on Monday.

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