Mladenovic in Zhengzhou Open quarters; Hsieh survives scare - GulfToday

Mladenovic in Zhengzhou Open quarters; Hsieh survives scare

Mladenovic in Zhengzhou Open  quarters; Hsieh survives scare

Kristina Mladenovic reacts after winning her Zhengzhou Open second round match against Carolina Garcia (unseen) on Wednesday.

HIROSHIMA: Defending champion Hsieh Su-wei was just a game from defeat three times as she rallied to fend off Priscilla Hon 1-6, 7-6 (2), 7-5 on Wednesday to advance to the quarter-finals of the Japan Women’s Open.

Hon served for the match twice in the second set and once in the third, but the 33-year-old Hsieh forced service breaks each time before grinding out a victory in 2 hours, 10 minutes.

Top-seeded Hsieh overcame a sluggish first set and finished the match with a 73 percent success rate on Hon’s second serve. Hon had 49 winners to Hsieh’s 26, but the Australian ended the encounter with 55 unforced errors to 29.

“In the first set ... I had no rhythm, I just couldn’t get my game and style going,” Hsieh said. “But the next two sets I got going.”

Hsieh will next meet Nao Hibino, who advanced when her opponent, 2017 champion and sixth-seeded Zarina Diyas, retired from their match because of a lower back injury while trailing 6-1, 3-2.

Meanwhile, Kristina Mladenovic beat eighth-seeded Carolina Garcia 7-5, 6-2 on Wednesday in an all-French matchup to reach the quarter-finals of the Zhengzhou Open. Mladenovic will next face either second-seeded Elina Svitolina or Yulia Putintseva as she tries to reach the semi-finals of a tournament for the first time in 2019.

Sixth-seeded Sofia Kenin of the United States also advanced to the last eight with a 6-4, 6-2 win over another Frenchwoman, Alize Cornet.

Seventh-seeded Petra Matric rallied to beat Fiona Ferro 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, while top-seeded Karolina Pliskova was leading 6-3, 2-5 against Polona Hercog when their match was suspended for the day due to rain. Earlier, American Alison Riske fought back from a set down to beat Germany’s Angelique Kerber 5-7 6-4 7-6(6) in the first round, extending the former world number one’s poor run of form.

Riske held her nerve to save a match point in the third-set tiebreak before going on to inflict a fourth consecutive first-round defeat on Kerber.

The German, a three-times Grand Slam champion, was beaten in the second round at Wimbledon and suffered first round defeats in Toronto and Cincinnati in the run-up to the year’s final Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows.

Former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko beat 23-year-old Chinese qualifier You Xiaodi 6-3 0-6 6-2 to reach the last 16, while France’s Fiona Ferro and Alize Cornet also advanced.

Agencies