Halep makes early exit

- Associated Press, WUHAN (China)

Sep 27, 2017-

No 2-ranked Simona Halep lost her opening match at the Wuhan Open, dismantled by Daria Kasatkina 6-2, 6-1 on Tuesday.Halep received a bye into the second round. She broke Kasatkina early but the Russian dominated thereafter. It was Kasatkina’s third win over a top-five player, after two wins over then-No 1 Angelique Kerber this year. “The game was much more difficult than the score is,” Kasatkina said. Halep had a chance this week to supplant Garbine Muguruza as No 1 by reaching the final with other results going her way.

No 4 Karolina Pliskova kept alive her shot at No 1 by beating local Shuai Zhang 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. To regain the No 1 ranking, Pliskova must win the Wuhan title and hope Muguruza loses before the semi-finals. “I always want to play better than I did last year; I already won one round so hopefully I can win one more,” Pliskova said.Another Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, lost to Alize Cornet of France 6-3, 6-3. Three other seeds advanced: No 7 and 2016 finalist Dominika Cibulkova, No 8 Jelena Ostapenko, and No 9 Agnieszka Radwanska. Ostapenko came back to beat Barbora Strycova 2-6, 7-5, 6-3, and Radwanska saw off Julia Goerges of Germany 7-5, 7-5.

Ekaterina Makarova of Russia, Caroline Garcia of France, Wang Qiang of China, and Varvara Lepchenko of the US were also the winners.

Published: 27-09-2017 08:39

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