No. 6 seed Garbine Muguruza avoided an early exit at the hands of Chinese teenager Wang Xiyu in the first round of the Shenzhen Open yesterday.
The Spaniard, who won just one match following last year’s French Open to season’s end, dispatched the wildcard, ranked No. 150, by winning the last nine games 3-6, 6-3, 6-0.
Starting in similarly in-form fashion as she did in her last match against a Grand Slam champion in Shenzhen, Wang blitzed Muguruza for much of the first hour of the match with precise, flat hitting from the baseline, although she needed six set points to wrap up the opener. It was certainly enough to impress her accomplished opponent.
Nonetheless, the Spaniard ultimately found her footing late in the second set, as she denied Wang two chances to level the scoreboard at 6-3, 4-4 and did not lose a game from then on.
In another match yesterday, China’s Wang Qiang beat Ons Jabeur 6-0, 6-3.
On Sunday, home favorite Zhang Shuai looked in complete control as she dismissed Magda Linette 6-4, 6-2, extending her dominant record against the Pole to five wins in as many matches.
Zhang’s victory on Center Court came only hours after 18-year-old wildcard Wang Xiyu rallied from a set down to oust Romanian Sorana Cirstea 3-6, 6-1, 6-1.
Mertens made a winning start to 2020 as she eased past Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko 6-3, 6-3 in the opening round of the Shenzhen Open on Sunday.
A rare lapse in concentration cost Mertens two break-point opportunities to open up a 5-1 lead in the second set but her solid service rhythm guided her to a comfortable win in just over 90 minutes.
China’s Wang Yafan also staged a comeback win over Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo, winning the 2nd and 3rd round 6-1, 6-3 after losing the first one 1-6.
All three Chinese players in singles action broke into the next round Sunday.