WTA Taipei: A thrilling day of tennis concludes as top seeds progress

WTA Taipei: A thrilling day of tennis concludes as top seeds progress

The first day of the Taiwan Open saw some thrilling matches being played at the Taipei Arena, with notable names such as Anastasija Sevastova and Katerina Siniakova coming through their respective matches.

don-han
Don Han

The International event in Taipei City successfully got underway after a thrilling first day of tennis, with more than half of the matches going the distance. The highest-ranked player in action won her match comfortably as Anastasija Sevastova strolled to a straight sets victory over her opponent in the first round. Also, all other seeds in action today were victorious, successfully progressing to the second round.

Sevastova outclasses Kato

The highest-ranked Latvian had an easy draw as she was drawn against qualifier Miyu Kato, and proved that she is the better player when she strolled to a comfortable straight sets victory, inflicting a bagel in the process.

Looking very fresh from the start, Sevastova won eight of the first nine points to start the match with, jumping out to an early advantage. After a marathon 15-points game which saw Sevastova save five game points and break serve, the Latvian continued her excellent run as she closed out the first set after just 25 minutes.

Miyu Kato in Melbourne | Photo: Pat Scala/Getty Images AsiaPac
Miyu Kato in Melbourne | Photo: Pat Scala/Getty Images AsiaPac

Exchanging service breaks to start the second set with, it was Sevastova made the next breakthrough as she broke serve at 2-2 to regain the lead. However, she was pegged back at 3-4 as Kato threatened to extend the match into a deciding set by breaking back, but failed to keep up the momentum as she lost serve immediately in the next game to allow Sevastova to have a chance to serve out the match. She did just so, serving out the match comfortably after just 62 minutes of play.

Siniakova gets past through Voskoboeva

The fifth-seeded Katerina Siniakova overcame a giant scare against the resurgent Galina Voskoboeva in three grueling sets as she had to battle from a set and a break down to triumph in the match.

A very tight first set saw many breaks of serve and momentum shifts, with Voskoboeva making the first break in her opening return game of the match, getting the early advantage. Despite being pegged back after losing her serve twice in a row to gift the lead to the Czech, Voskoboeva managed to fight back to return level and eventually closed out the set 7-5 after coming up with some great returns.

Katerina Siniakova in action in the Taipei Arena | Photo: Pat Scala/Getty Images AsiaPac
Katerina Siniakova in action in the Taipei Arena | Photo: Pat Scala/Getty Images AsiaPac

Despite being down by two break points in the opening game of the second set, Voskoboeva maintained her composure to hold her service and prevented her from falling behind in the scoreboard early in the set. That encouraging hold of service seemed to give her more confidence as she broke serve immediately in the next game to lead by a set and a break, looking to close out the upset in straight sets. Despite being frustrated with herself during the match, she managed to break back and take the lead when she broke for the second time in the set at 3-3. Siniakova then eventually captured the second set 6-4 after 51 minutes.

The final set looked to be as tight as the first set when nothing could separate both players after Voskoboeva saved three game points to break serve and level the match at 2-2. However, Siniakova went on a run from then on, winning the final four games of the match to seal up the hard-fought win after 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Galina Voskoboeva would be disappointed with herself today | Photo: Pat Scala/Getty Images AsiaPac
Galina Voskoboeva would be disappointed with herself today | Photo: Pat Scala/Getty Images AsiaPac

Doi defeats compatriot Hibino

Misaki Doi defeated Nao Hibino in a battle of the Japanese in the first match of the day, triumphing in three sets.

Doi made the perfect start to the match as she jumped out to a 3-0 lead within a blink of an eye to start the match with an early advantage. Failing for convert on two break points then allowed Hibino to get onto the scoreboard by holding her serve, preventing Doi from running away with the set. Doi eventually closed out the set 6-2 after breaking serve once more in the final game.

Misaki Doi moves on to the second round | Photo: WTA Taiwan Open
Misaki Doi moves on to the second round | Photo: WTA Taiwan Open

Hibino then looked to have shrugged off the disappointment for losing the first set as she made the first breakthrough in the second set to take the lead in the match for the first time after she broke serve. With the set slowly getting out of her hands, Doi was broken once more at 2-4 and Hibino successfully served out the set to level the match.

Similar to the first set, Doi ran out to a 3-0 lead, looking the favourite to close out the match. Nevertheless, Hibino did not give up so easily as she broke back to level the match, making the outcome more unpredictable. Hibino made an easy unforced error at 30-30 when the score was 4-5 and she was serving to stay in the match, giving her compatriot a match point opportunity. She was only able to convert on her second match point, though, as she closed out the victory after 2 hours and 2 minutes.

Misaki Doi in action today | Photo: WTA Taiwan Open
Misaki Doi in action today | Photo: WTA Taiwan Open

Other results

Qualifier Ons Jabeur managed to create an upset over Nicole Gibbs after triumphing in three sets, where Gibbs looked totally lost in the final set. It was a good and encouraging victory for the Tunisian especially after coming through the qualifying draw and now reaching the second round.

Seventh seed Shelby Rogers strolled to a comfortable victory over Lee Ya-hsuan in straight sets despite the Taiwanese putting up a tough fight. Rogers would next face Ons Jabeur, who defeated Nicole Gibbs in three sets.

Lee Ya-hsuan in action today | Photo: WTA Taiwan Open
Lee Ya-hsuan in action today | Photo: WTA Taiwan Open

Sorana Cirstea was once again hampered by some injury concerns as she had to retire in the middle of her match against Risa Ozaki most possibly due to a left wrist injury, which affected her in her fourth round match against Garbine Muguruza in Melbourne.

The only other match of the day saw Mandy Minella coming through against Jana Cepelova in three sets, despite Cepelova serving for the match at 6-5 in the second set. Minella was outclassed in the first set but regained her composure to step up her game and bounce back to triumph eventually.

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