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China Open: Kerber ousted by Svitolina; Radwanska beats Wozniacki

Ukrainian Elina Svitolina scored her second win this year over a world number one, ousting Angelique Kerber in the round of 16 in Beijing on Thursday.

tennis Updated: Oct 06, 2016 16:04 IST
Angelique Kerber,China Open,Elina Svitolina
Elina Svitolina celebrates her win over Angelique Kerber.(Reuters)

Ukrainian Elina Svitolina scored her second win this year over a world number one, ousting Angelique Kerber in the round of 16 in Beijing on Thursday.

Nineteenth-ranked Svitolina took just two sets to beat newly crowned number one Kerber -- who ascended to the top spot at the US Open, the same week she also claimed her second Grand Slam crown -- with a 6-3, 7-5 win.

The 22-year-old left Serena Williams in tears in Rio in August, denying the 22-time Grand Slam champion a fifth Olympic gold medal with a straight-sets win.

“When they announce (the names at the start of the march) you have this weird feeling because you realise you’re playing against world number one”, Svitolina said after the match.

“I try to really don’t think about it. If I think too much, I lose my way,” she added.

Kerber, who had her right thigh taped during the match, had a break lead in each set but appeared glued to the baseline and was unable to take control.

Kerber said she couldn’t move well during the match. (Reuters)

“I know that I have to move very well when I play my game, and I couldn’t play my game like I play,” Kerber told reporters.

The German still plans to play in Hong Kong next week as she chases points to end the year at number one -- but her right leg may alter her plans.

“Still it’s in my schedule to play Hong Kong. It’s right after the match, so I don’t know exactly with my leg or whatever. But it’s still in my schedule,” she said.

‘Nothing for free’

Briton Johanna Konta secured her first ever win over US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova in a third set tie break, 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (2).

With a victory over the sixth-ranked Czech, Konta -- currently at number 14 -- moves closer to breaking into the top ten for the first time.

The win also moves the 25-year-old into tenth position in the race for the eight-player WTA Finals in Singapore, meaning she could play if one of the eight dropped out.

But if fellow quarter-finalist Petra Kvitova, currently 12th in the race, continues her stellar Asian run, the Briton could be nudged out.

Agnieszka Radwanska, right, hugs Caroline Wozniacki after their match. (AP)

Agnieszka Radwanska secured her second consecutive win over former number one Caroline Wozniacki to reach the China Open quarter-finals.

The pair have met three times in as many weeks, with Wozniacki coming out on top in the first encounter in Tokyo.

Wozniacki went on to bag the title in the Japanese capital, but Radwanska ended her seven-match winning streak at last week’s Wuhan Open by ousting the Dane in the round of 16.

Third-ranked Radwanska booked her Beijing quarter-final spot on the third match point with an impressive run to the net to return a drop shot from the Dane. Wozniacki lobbed the return, but the Pole made it to that one to take the match 6-3, 6-1.

“I knew nothing’s going to come for free. I was really trying to be aggressive from the first point and also from the return,” Radwanska told reporters.

“We know each other for 17 years. Practising together as well almost every tournament, playing some matches against each other. I think we know about each other everything,” she added.

First Published: Oct 06, 2016 16:04 IST