Defending champion Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan advanced into the second round of the rain-delayed BMW Malaysian Open yesterday after defeating Japan’s Kurumi Nara 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-4 in a match that lasted 2 hours, 42 minutes.
Hsieh next faces China’s Zhang Shuai for a place in the quarter-finals.
Wild-card entry Bethanie Mattek-Sands stormed into the quarter-finals yesterday when she crushed Duan Ying-Ying of China 6-1, 6-4.
The bubbly blonde is known as the Lady Gaga of tennis after attending the 2011 pre-Wimbledon party in a dress made of tennis balls created by the pop star’s designer Alex Noble.
The colorful American, who also sports several tattoos, was one of five players to secure quarter-final berths so far. The others are Ayumi Morita, Karolina Pliskova, Ashleigh Barty and Luksika Kumkhum.
Mattek-Sands, who won the doubles title at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships last weekend with India’s Sania Mirza, said: “I’ve never won any singles title before, even though I have reached a few finals. Maybe that first win will come in Malaysia.”
Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark lost to Wang Qiang of China 2-6, 7-6, 6-1 in the first round on Wednesday.
The former world No. 1-ranked player attributed the result to a loss of energy and focus in the second set.
Additional reporting by Staff writer