Typhoon Khanun plays havoc with Hong Kong Tennis Open final as T8 signal is raised
Pavlyuchenkova set to take on Gavrilova after China’s Wang falls but match faces severe delays at Victoria Park
Typhoon Khanun could threaten a washout of the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open final at Victoria Park with organisers uncertain whether there will be any play today.
The match between Daria Gavrilova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was scheduled for 2pm on Centre Court before the T8 signal was raised on Sunday.
A spokesperson for the tournament said they are willing to wait until 9pm to get the players on court.
“Yeah, apparently it’s going to rain all day but I can’t control anything,” Gavrilova, who booked her place in the final with a 6-0, 7-5 win over Jennifer Brady, said on Saturday.
“I’ll just have to wait and see what happens. I would rather not wait and play today but that’s not going to happen,” she added, laughing.
Russia’s Pavlyuchenkova extinguished home hopes by beating China’s Wang Qiang 6-3, 6-4 in Saturday’s second semi-final.
“It seems really bad for us tomorrow, and also I have Moscow coming up next week to play my hometown tournament, it will be very difficult as we need to fly as well,” said the world No 19.
“But there’s nothing we can do about it, just fingers crossed. I’m just happy to be in a final this weekend. Right now, this is the priority.”
China’s Wang had enjoyed an unlikely run in the tournament, having suffered with flu all week.
She came close to retiring in the first set of her quarter-final when she took a medical timeout, but rallied to beat Samantha Stosur in straight sets.
Still, the Chinese number three looked far from at full health in her post-match press conference after that win, with a towel wrapped around her neck and shoulders as she shivered at the microphone.
Against Pavlyuchenkova, she seemed to have already used up most of her depleted energy stocks, losing in one hour and 14 minutes.
The match saw multiple breaks of serve in each set but the Russian sixth seed was ultimately more consistent.
“Sometimes when I think it’s bad my coach says, ‘What’s going on in your head? You’re playing well’,” said Pavlyuchenkova of her dips in concentration.
“I just like to make drama from small things. But I think it was a good and solid match. I’m happy I followed the tactics and didn’t do a lot of stupid stuff.”
“When it’s 40 degrees outside and very humid like it has been all week, it’s very difficult, you don’t have much energy.
“Today there was a lot of wind, it was not very easy to serve, definitely tough conditions. But I’m really happy with the way I handled the conditions and the weather.”
Earlier on Saturday, Gavrilova got the jump on Brady to win the first set 6-0, and went 4-2 up in the second set as she looked to be easing towards victory.
But the American, having seemingly steadied her nerves, made a fist of it by levelling at 4-4, and the pair traded breaks again.
Gavrilova managed to break again though and held on this time to finish in one hour and 22 minutes.
Her display was a vast improvement on her quarter-final win against compatriot Lizette Cabrera, where she made 16 double faults over three sets, compared to just two against Brady.
“Today I played a lot cleaner, I went after my shots and actually felt a lot better,” she said.
“I was not happy about my performance last night so I made sure I was going to change that today.
“I did hit a lot more second serves today than usual. I just made it more clear in my head on where I was going to hit the second serve, made the target actually smaller instead of just hitting it anywhere.
“Today I played the best match in a while since the Asian tour. So hopefully I can keep up the form and just keep it going. I’ll just go out and enjoy it, I’ll fight and try and win my second title of the season.”
SUNDAY’S ORDER OF PLAY
Doubles final starting at 2pm
 Chan Hao-ching (Taiwan)/Chan Yung-jan (Taiwan) vs Lu Jiajing (China)/Qiang Wang (China)
Singles final not before 4:30 pm
 Daria Gavrilova (Australia) v  Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Russia)