Tue, Oct 02, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Emphatic Osaka powers into round two in Beijing

AFP, BEIJING

Japan’s Naomi Osaka returns to Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan in their China Open women’s singles first-round match in Beijing yesterday.

Photo: AFP

US Open champion Naomi Osaka yesterday needed just 68 minutes to power into the second round of the China Open with a dominant performance over Kazakh qualifier Zarina Diyas.

Also safely through on Beijing’s outdoor hard courts was another reigning Grand Slam champion, Australian Open winner Caroline Wozniacki.

With world No. 1 Simona Halep retiring from the tournament with a back injury and Serena Williams absent, Osaka and Wozniacki are among the favorites for the title.

Japan’s Osaka, who is enjoying a breakthrough season after stunning Williams to win in New York, breezed past a bewildered Diyas 6-4, 6-3.

Osaka next plays unseeded American Danielle Collins.

Former world No. 1 Wozniacki was similarly emphatic with a 6-2, 6-3 demolition of Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic.

The Danish world No. 2 was never in serious trouble against world No. 41 Bencic, although it has not always been like that down the years, Bencic winning four of their past six meetings.

Wozniacki next plays Croatia’s unseeded Petra Martic.

It was a case of seventh time lucky for another former world No. 1 Garbine Muguruza, as the Spaniard set up a meeting with Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.

Muguruza made a fast start as she hammered Ekaterina Makarova 6-0, 6-4, making the seventh match point count against the Russian.

Elise Mertens, the 15th seed from Belgium, suffered a surprise defeat to home favorite Zhang Shuai, the Chinese winning 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.

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