TENNIS

Unseeded Wang Qiang pulls off surprise at Shenzhen Open

Ranked 71 in the world, Chinese player beats tournament seventh seed Monica Niculescu of Romania in the second round

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 January, 2017, 11:33pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 January, 2017, 11:35pm

Unseeded home player Wang Qiang upset seventh seed Monica Niculescu of Romania 7-6 (7-1), 6-4, in a gruelling encounter that lasted more than two hours in the second round of the WTA Shenzhen Open on Tuesday.

Wang, aged 24, and ranked 71 in the world, said: [My coach] decided I should be patient in the game, waiting for the chance and then playing aggressive.

“I focused on my serve during winter training, adding some speed in the first service and spin in the second.”

Meanwhile, top seed and world number three Agnieszka Radwanska made short work of her second-round opponent. The Pole disposed of Romania’s Sorana Cirstea 6-0, 6-3 in an hour and 18 minutes.

Top seed Agnieszka Radwanska scrapes through first round of Shenzhen Open

Cirstea, ranked 78th in the world, lost more than half the points she served and faced 14 break points, losing six of them.

Britain’s Johanna Konta, who has begun 2017 as a top-10 player for the first time in her career, had a scare against 77th-ranked American Vania King, losing the first set 1-6.

Konta recovered to prevail 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 in an hour and 35 minutes.

American eighth seed Alison Riske beat Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova 6-1, 6-1.

Xinhua, Agence France-Presse