WTA Nottingham: Zheng Saisai upsets Johanna Konta, Tara Moore defeats Christina McHale

All the quarterfinal matches had been set after the fourth day of play at Aegon Open Nottingham; a day that could be marked as a day of upsets.

Both seeds in the play today, Johanna Konta and Christina McHale, lost their matches in straight sets. Two qualifiers and a lucky loser booked their spots into the quarterfinal.

Konta And McHale Fall In Straight Sets

The biggest upset of the day saw second seed and Britain number one Johanna Konta losing to Zheng Saisai, in the first match of the day on Centre Court. The Chinese needed two hours to get rid of the British, who also necessitated a medical timeout during the second set. Nevertheless, Zheng didn’t need more than two sets to achieve her win.

The start of the first set saw Konta gaining an early advantage, only to lose it right away. None of the players earned any more chances to storm forward until the ninth game, in which Zheng converted her third break point and gained the chance to serve out the set. The Chinese found no problems in the final game, eventually taking the set with a 6-4 scoreline.

From the start of the second set, both players had multiple chances to gain a consistent advantage, but none of them managed to consolidate it. A break in the second to last game is once more determinant for the Chinese, who saved three break points while serving for the match, and eventually signed the victory on her second match point, with a final 6-4, 7-5 scoreline.

Konta’s weak performance on her second serve and on break points (she converted only 3 out of 10) complicated the match for her, despite the Chinese didn’t show a much better performance on her service games.

The second seed to leave the tournament had been eight seed Christina McHale, who ended today’s session on Centre Court against qualifier Tara Moore

The American struggled since the beginning of the first set, in which she had never been able to hold her serve. Despite she managed to break Moore back for two times to level off, two decisive holds at the end of the set granted the British the lead of the match.

The second set didn’t show a very different scenario. McHale started by holding to love, but she lost two important service games later in the set and never earned the chance to break back. Moore only needed one match point to eventually win the match with a clear 6-2, 6-2 scoreline, to reach the first WTA quarterfinal of her career. With Konta’s defeat, Moore is the last British player still in the competition.

Tara Moore of Great Britain celebrates victory during her match against Christina McHale of USA on day four of the WTA Aegon Open on June 9, 2016 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Jon Buckle/Getty Images for LTA)
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Qualifier Barty and Lucky Loser Paszek Also Advance

The remaining matches saw two players from the qualifications gaining a spot into quarterfinals.

Australia’s Ashleigh Barty continued her run with a victory against lucky loser Andrea Hlavackova.

Barty, on her first WTA Tournament in two years, needed three sets to get read of the Slovakian, who had previously defeated fifth seed Yanina Wickmayer in the first round.

The 20-year old quickly stormed ahead to take the first set without losing a single game. The second set started as more balanced, as none of the players got a chance to earn an advantage until the ninth game; it’s Hlavachova who gained a decisive break, which consolidated right away to take the second set and force the match into a decider.

A break in the final game of the match is what eventually gave the Australian the victory, after a set which didn't see any of the players take a consistent control of the game. The Australian had been helped by her serve, with 11 aces hit and a 71 percent of success rate with her first serve. The match ended with a 6-0, 4-6, 6-4 scoreline.

To complete the quarterfinals draw, Tamira Paszek benefitted of the retirement of Magdalena Rybarikova. The Czech retired due to a right knee injury while trailing from 3-6, 1-3 down. Paszek entered the competition as a lucky loser after losing the qualifying competition to Ashleigh Barty; she is reaching her second WTA quarterfinal of the year.

The doubles semifinals had also been set today. With all the seeds still competing, the pair formed by Gabriela Dabrowski and Yang Zaoxhuan had been the only one which gained a victory. They will take on Naomi Broady and Anastasija Sevastova for a place in the finals. The second semifinal will see Karolina Pliskova and Krystina Pliskova challenging Andrea Hlavackova and Peng Shuai, who defeated the first seed pair formed by Chan Hao-ching and Chan Yun-jan in the quarterfinals.

Naomi Broady of Great Britain and Anastasia Sevastova of Latvia in action during their match against Yifan Xu and Saisai Zheng of China on day four of the WTA Aegon Open on June 9, 2016 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Jon Buckle/Getty Images for LTA)
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Tomorrow’s Schedule

All singles quarterfinals are scheduled on Centre Court for tomorrow. The ones to start-off the day will be Alison Riske and Annet Kontaveit, followed by the challenge between Ashleigh Barty and first seed Karolina Pliskova. The last British left, Tara Moore, will need to defeat Zheng Saisai to reach semifinals. The last match of the day will see fourth seed Monica Puig opposed to Tamira Paszek.

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