Thu, Oct 11, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Hsieh squeezes into quarters

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter

Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei yesterday survived a scare to advance to the quarter-finals of the singles at the Tianjin Open in China, where she was joined by top seed Karolina Pliskova and fourth seed Aryna Sabalenka.

Fifth seed Hsieh survived a second-set fightback by Russian world No. 122 Veronika Kudermetova in their second-round match to post a 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 victory in 1 hour, 39 minutes on the hard courts at the Tianjin Tuanbo International Tennis Center.

The Taiwanese world No. 30 saved two of seven break points and converted seven of 16, winning 87 of the 161 points contested to even her career record against the Russian after a straight-sets loss on the clay courts in Stuttgart, Germany, in April.

Hsieh next faces either Slovakian qualifier Jana Cepelova or Belgian third seed Elise Mertens, who are due to play their second-round match today.

Pliskova took just 50 minutes to see off Slovenian world No. 77 Polona Hercog 6-1, 6-2.

“I think I was quite good today,” Pliskova told the WTA Web site. “I was feeling good, I was serving pretty well. I didn’t lose my serve, which I think was important.”

Czech world No. 6 Pliskova saved the only break point she faced and converted four of five, improving her career record over Hercog to 4-1 in their first clash since 2015.

“I’m just happy that I didn’t spend that much time on the court today, and I can rest a little bit and prepare for my next match,” Pliskova said.

Sabalenka also cruised into the quarter-finals with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Polish world No. 84 Magda Linette in 1 hour, 13 minutes.

The victory kept the Belarussian’s hopes of a spot at the WTA Finals in Singapore alive, although she would have to lift the trophy this week to have a chance.

“I was thinking I need to win this tournament, but at the moment I don’t care about Singapore,” Sabalenka told the WTA Web site. “I’m saying to myself, it doesn’t matter; you’re 20 years old, you will have a lot of chances to go there.”

In yesterday’s other second-round match, Croatian sixth seed Petra Martic rallied from a set down to oust Chinese world No. 150 Liu Fangzhou 1-6, 6-0, 6-1 in 1 hour, 23 minutes.

At the ATP Shanghai Masters, Alexander Zverev defeated red-hot Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-5, 6-4 to reach the last 16.

Zverev is next to play Australia’s world No. 33 Alex de Minaur.

De Minaur, 19, defeated France’s Benoit Paire 6-4, 6-3.

Additional reporting by AFP

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