Saturday, 19 October, 2019

Ukrainian tennis player Yastremska wins WTA in Hongkong

China's Wang Qiang hits a return during her quarter-final women's singles match against Elina Svitolina at the Hong Kong Open tennis tournament on Oct 12 2018 Hong Kong Open - Dayana Yastremska defeats Wang Qiang to win first career title
Shannon Reynolds | 16 October, 2018, 21:50

Chinese No 1 Wang Qiang continued her fine run of form during the WTA's Asian swing by defeating top seed Elina Svitolina and fourth seed Garbine Muguruza on the same day to reach the Hong Kong Open final on Saturday.

Top-seeded Ukrainian Elina Svitolina is close to bowing out of the Hong Kong Open but rain has disrupted her quarter-final match.

No. 4 seed Muguruza is likely to face Qiang Wang in Saturday's semifinal.

Zhang will be favourite to win against 18-year-old Yastremska, now ranked 102.

On the other side of the draw, Shuai Zhang dumped out seventh seed Daria Gavrilova 6-1 6-3 to secure a last-four meeting with Dayana Yastremska, who defeated Kristina Kucova 7-6 (8-6) 6-2.

Zhang, ranked 40th in the world, had shrugged off the loss of the first set despite leading 5-2 to race to a 3-0 lead in the second set, only to be hauled back by her opponent's blistering return of serve and shot-making skills.

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Until Sunday, Yastremska s chief claim to fame had been 2016 Wimbledon girls singles finalist, but earlier this year she became the first player born this millennium to break into the WTA top 100 rankings. I just tried to stay present and positive, not panic because she was coming back.

"But if before the match you think it s going to be really hard you up your focus, and when you go on court you stay more dedicated to each point, that s what helped me to stay that calm during the whole match".

"I feel in the second set she was playing so much better - it was a full battle".

"At 5-0 down, she had nothing more to lose, so she probably played a little bit more relaxed, and I got a little tight", Garcia said, per the WTA.

The result is the latest in a string of firsts for the 26-year-old this fall, as she reached her second WTA final in her past four tournaments. "I want to repeat it all from the first match".

Gavrilova, 24, said she was exhausted after two three-set matches in the earlier rounds and said she suffered a painful knee during the pre-game warm-up which required heavy strapping.

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