World number one Angelique Kerber emerges as Hong Kong Open injury doubt after China Open defeat
The US Open champion lost 6-3, 7-5 in just under 90 minutes to Ukrainian Elina Svitolina in Beijing on Thursday after playing with her right thigh taped
World number one Angelique Kerber has emerged as a doubt for next week’s Prudential Hong Kong Open after battling a leg injury during Thursday’s China Open defeat by Ukrainian Elina Svitolina.
Kerber had her right thigh taped during the last 16 encounter in Beijing as the 28-year-old German lost 6-3, 7-5 in just under 90 minutes.
The US Open champion had a break lead in each set but appeared glued to the baseline during the match and was unable to take control as Svitolina progressed to the quarter-finals.
“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 said.
“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.”
Briton Johanna Konta and former world number one Caroline Wozniacki are also heading to Hong Kong next week for the October 8-16 event at Victoria Park, but endured mixed fortunes during the round of 16 on Thursday.
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Svitolina, 22, left Serena Williams in tears in Rio de Janeiro in August after denying the 22-time grand slam champion a fifth Olympic Games 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.
— WTA (@WTA) October 6, 2016
“I try to really don’t think about it. If I think too much, I lose my way.”
Konta secured her first ever victory over US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova after recording a 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (7-2) win.
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With the victory over the sixth-ranked Czech, current world number 14 Konta moves closer to breaking into the top 10 for the first time in her career.
But Wozniacki lost 6-3, 6-1 to Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska, who claimed her second consecutive win over the Dane to reach the 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.
“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 said.
“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.”
Watch: Agnieszka Radwanska v Caroline Wozniacki
Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse