A shocking scoreline emerged from the first round of the Toray Pan Pacific Open as the unseeded Wang Qiang sealed an emphatic double-bagel win over eighth seed and world number 15 Kristina Mladenovic in just 49 minutes, totally blanking out the struggling Frenchwoman.
Wang strolls to take the first set
Mladenovic started the match serving in the opening game with that decision proving to be risky as she threw in a couple of unforced errors, sending a backhand into the net on break point which gifted the first break of serve to Wang. The Frenchwoman was simply unable to find her best tennis after failing to convert a 0-30 lead, allowing the Chinese to consolidate the break and open up a two-game lead.
A lengthy third game saw Mladenovic earn a game point but failed to find her groove in her baseline game, unable to display the fearless tennis she used to play in early 2017. Although the points were not much in Wang’s control, she still remained solid amidst her opponent’s struggles and breaking serve once more with the help of a double fault.
Continuing to stroll through the opening set, Wang easily extended her lead to four games while Mladenovic was still struggling to find the rhythm on her serve and groundstrokes. Trouble was really brewing for the eighth seed with her slices not causing much trouble for her opponent. The Chinese, who was lower-ranked but came into the match as the favorite, had the golden opportunity for a bagel victory after finding a breakthrough on the return for the third consecutive time.
However, Mladenovic finally looked on course to get on the scoreboard for the first time at the Ariake Tennis Park, but her unforced errors ultimately saw her lose two break points before gifting Wang a set point, which she converted with a big forehand winner to seal the first set 6-0 after just 25 minutes of play.
Wang closes out the incredible win
On-court coaching sessions certainly did not work for the Frenchwoman as her struggles continued to plague her, with four unforced errors in a game allowing Wang to lead by a set and a break. The Chinese was in total control of the match, winning eight consecutive games which saw her boom with confidence as the encounter progressed. Mladenovic’s last win came at the Citi Open, which was around two months ago. Certainly, the string of losses has taken a toll on her, especially when it comes to her confidence.
Wang seemed headed towards a total blank out after breaking serve for a sixth straight time to lead 6-0, 5-0. This gave her the perfect chance to serve out the double bagel victory, a feat which is extraordinary especially against a top-15 player. Overcoming her nerves, the Chinese closed out the win after just a mere 49 minutes of play, sealing the win with an unbelievable 6-0, 6-0 scoreline. This was just Wang’s second double-bagel win in her career, and Mladenovic’s second double-bagel loss throughout her career.