Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei crashed out of the quarter-finals after a rain-interrupted match at the WTA 125K tournament in Hua Hin, Thailand, yesterday.
World No. 107 Hsieh fell to a 6-3, 6-2 defeat to 114th-ranked Wang Qiang of China on Court 2 at the Hua Hin Centennial Club in just 65 minutes, although the players came off court during the first set due to rain.
Wang saved one of three break points and converted six of 10, winning 68 of the 110 points contested to oust the Taiwanese and improve her career record against Hsieh to 2-1.
The Taiwanese won their first encounter in Pattaya in 2012, but Wang came out on top in Taipei last year.
Yesterday’s victory set up a semi-final against fourth seed Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan, who defeated China’s Duan Ying-ying 6-2, 6-4 in the later quarter-final on Court 2.
On the other side of the draw, Naomi Osaka advanced to today’s semi-finals after rallying from a set down to defeat Liu Fangzhou of China 6-7 (4/7), 6-1, 6-3 in 1 hour, 42 minutes on Center Court.
The Japanese next faces fellow countrywoman and No. 3 seed Nao Hibino, who defeated crowd favorite Luksika Kumkhum 6-4, 6-3.
Kanako Murata seemed destined to represent Japan at the Tokyo Olympics as a freestyle wrestler, but that all changed when she saw MMA icon Ronda Rousey fight. “It was then that I knew what I wanted to do and I have never regretted it for a moment since,” said Murata, now a rising star with the Las Vegas-based UFC. First inspired by Japan’s Olympic wrestling queen Saori Yoshida, Murata had by her early 20s emerged as a junior world freestyle wrestling champion. Then came the night in 2015 that Murata saw the explosive American former UFC bantamweight champion Rousey in action, and
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