Wed, Mar 01, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Former champion Hsieh crashes out of Malaysian Open

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter

Former champion Hsieh Su-wei was stunned by a Uzbek qualifier in the first round of the Malaysian Open yesterday, while top seed Elina Svitolina cruised into the second round on a rain-interrupted day in Kuala Lumpur.

Taiwanese world No. 98 Hsieh fell to a surprise 7-5, 5-7, 6-1 defeat to world No. 155 Sabina Sharipova in a first-round singles match that was twice interrupted by breaks for rain.

Sharipova saved three of eight break points and converted eight of 21 to advance to a second-round clash with fellow qualifier Lesley Kerkhove of the Netherlands, despite racking up 10 double faults against the 2012 champion, who was coming off the back of winning the doubles title at the Hungarian Ladies Open in Budapest on Sunday alongside Oksana Kalashnikova.

Reigning champion Svitolina advanced with a convincing 6-2, 6-3 victory over South Korea’s Jang Su-jeong in 1 hour, 26 minutes.

The Taiwan Open champion and world No. 10, looking to win her second WTA Tour title of the season and the sixth of her career, saved five of the six break points she faced and converted four of 11 to set up a second-round clash with Nao Hibino of Japan.

Also advancing to the second round was Polish world No. 93 Magda Linette, who ousted Ukrainian wild-card Katarina Zavatska 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 to set up a second-round clash with either Taiwan’s Chang Kai-chen or Chinese fourth seed Peng Shuai, who were due to play their first-round match later yesterday.

Chang crashed out of the doubles late on Monday when she and Wang Qiang of China fell to a 6-3, 6-4 defeat to Chinese duo Duan Yingying and Han Xinyun in 1 hour, 14 minutes.

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