Top-ranked Muguruza advances to 3rd round at Wuhan Open
WUHAN, China (AP) — Top-ranked Garbine Muguruza advanced to the third round of the Wuhan Open by beating Lesia Tsurenko 6-4, 6-4 Tuesday.
The Wimbledon champion from Spain broke her opponent early in each set. She will next face Magda Linette of Poland.
“Two years ago I left here in the final. I always play well in China,” said Muguruza, who lost to Venus Williams in the 2015 championship match. “I will try to just keep going forward.”
In a pair of upsets, second-ranked Simona Halep and fourth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki both lost.
Halep lost to Daria Kasatkina 6-2, 6-1. Wozniacki, a former No. 1 who won in Tokyo last weekend, was beaten by qualifier Maria Sakkari of Greece 7-5, 6-3.
It was Kasatkina’s third win over a top-five player. She beat then-No. 1 Angelique Kerber twice this year.
“The game was much more difficult than the score is,” Kasatkina said.
Halep came into the tournament with a chance to take over as No. 1 from Muguruza this week.
Fourth-ranked Karolina Pliskova kept alive her shot at No. 1 by beating Shuai Zhang 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. To regain the top ranking, Pliskova must win the Wuhan Open title and hope Muguruza loses before the semifinals.
“I always want to play better than I did last year,” Pliskova said. “I already won one round so hopefully I can win one more.”
Also, two-time major champion Svetlana Kuznetsova lost to Alize Cornet of France 6-3, 6-3, while seventh-seeded Dominika Cibulkova, eighth-seeded Jelena Ostapenko, ninth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska and 16th-seeded Elena Vesnina all won.
Other winners included Linette, Ekaterina Makarova, Caroline Garcia, Wang Qiang, Monica Puig and Varvara Lepchenko.