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Zhang Shuai of China in action at the 2021 Cleveland Championships in August, 2021. Photo: AFP

China No 1 Zhang Shuai blows match point at Ostrava Open singles, marches on in doubles with Sania Mirza

  • Chinese player had chance to win serving at 5-3 in second set against Yulia Putintseva before losing gruelling three-and-a-half hour game
  • US Open doubles champion and partner Sania Mirza of India battle back to beat Britain’s Tara Moore and Emina Bektas of the US

China’s No 1 tennis player Zhang Shuai had a mixed day at the J&T Banka Ostrava Open where she crashed out of the singles after wasting match point in a three-and-a-half-hour epic before battling through in the women’s doubles.

In the singles at the WTA event Zhang had taken the first set 7-5 against Yulia Putintseva and had match point serving at 5-3 the second set before the world No 49 broke back to win 7-6.

World No 48 Zhang had little resistance in the third set, which the Kazakhstan player won out 6-4 – taking the match 5-7, 6-7, 6-4 – in a staggering three hours and 24 minutes.

Putintseva moves on to play top seed Iga Swiatek in the second round, while US Open doubles champion concentrates on the pairs event.

Later in the day, Zhang and her partner Sania Mirza of India took on Britain’s Tara Moore and Emina Bektas of the US in the women’s doubles.

The Chinese-Indian duo dropped the first set to Bektas and Moore, losing 6-7 as the Anglo-American pair dominated the tiebreak.

Zhang’s US Open win completes Chinese ‘golden slam’

Zhang and Mirza, the second seeds in the Czech second city, turned it on in the second set which they won 7-5 before taking the decisive third set shoot-out 10-7.

The pair move on to the quarter-finals where they will face Lidziya Marozava of Belarus and Anna Danilina of Kazakhstan on Thursday.

US Open doubles champion Zhang and Mirza partnered up for the Luxembourg Open last week where they were beaten in the quarter-finals by Belgian pair Greet Minnen and Alison van Uytvanck.