WTA Hong Kong: Quarterfinals eventually shape up amidst rain delays

Top seed Angelique Kerber eventually finished her match over two days while second seed Venus Williams crashes out.

WTA Hong Kong: Quarterfinals eventually shape up amidst rain delays
Kerber fights past rain and her opponent to book her quarterfinal spot | Photo: Power Sport Images/Getty Images

Rain caused only one match to be completed yesterday which saw defending champion Jelena Jankovic move on to the quarterfinals. Angelique Kerber had her work cut out for her with her match forced to be postponed after rain delays but survived a scare to defeat Louisa Chirico in three sets.

Second seed Venus Williams, who came back to snatch a set after a rain delay, however, could not sustain the momentum and lost out to Alizé Cornet. Seeds Daria Gavrilova and Caroline Wozniacki were also safely through to the quarters. Joining them are Kristina Mladenovic, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Qiang Wang who received a walkover after Johanna Konta withdrew after an abdominal injury.

Kerber overcomes Chirico

After a stop-start match yesterday, the German was forced to a third set by the persistent Chirico. The American was facing a break point in the fourth game in the third set when the rain started coming down again causing the match to be postponed. However, at the resumption, Chirico could not save the break point as Kerber took a 3-1 lead. The day of rest certainly worked to the German’s favor as she went on to consolidate the lead before finding another break to build a 5-1 advantage. Chirico momentarily stopped Kerber from serving out the match as she got one of the breaks back. However, her own serve failed her allowing the top seed to break and seal a 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 victory.

Kerber finishes strongly | Photo:  Emmanuel Wong/Getty Images
Kerber finishes strongly | Photo: Power Sport Images/Getty Images
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Cornet conquers Williams

In the first set of full of breaks, it was Cornet who got the better of Williams to take the first set 6-2. Both then exchanged breaks at the start of the second set before the Frenchwoman held serve and was up a break. The sky though had other intentions as it started raining and after a short delay, it was Williams who benefitted from the delay to reel off four straight games to close out the set. However, she could not ride that momentum as Cornet won a mammoth second game for a 2-0 lead. That game looked to have spent out Williams’ energy as the American succumbed to a double break. Even though she broke Cornet’s serve immediately, she struggled on her serve own serve and the Frenchwoman went on to close out an emphatic 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 win.

Cornet triumphs and advances to the quarterfinals | Photo: Emmanuel Wong/Getty Images
Cornet triumphs and advances to the quarterfinals | Photo: Emmanuel Wong/Getty Images

Mattek-Sands sinks Caroline Garcia

A few days ago the pair met in a doubles match and today they squared off for a berth in the quarterfinals. However, it was another upset of the day as sixth seed Caroline Garcia was ousted by Mattek-Sands in a three-setter. A flurry of the breaks at the end of the first set saw the Frenchwoman clinch the first set. The American though bounced back strongly building up a staggering 5-0 lead before forcing a third set. The 199th-ranked Mattek-Sands was firmly in control of the match striding to a double break lead. Garcia reduced the deficit to one break but the American managed to hold on to her serve to finish 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 after two hours.

Mattek-Sands completes the upset | Photo: Power Sport Images/Getty Images
Mattek-Sands completes the upset | Photo: Power Sport Images/Getty Images

Rest of the results

In the only non-seed featuring match, Mladenovic overcame a rough first set, recovering from a break down to level for 5-5 as Nao Hibino served for the set. The Frenchwoman then took the ensuing tiebreak before finding her level to win 7-6(5), 6-2.

Gavrilova, who began her match the day, against Katerina Siniakova resumed after having won the first set yesterday. The Aussie continued where she left off to seal an impressive 6-2, 7-5 victory.

Fifth seed Wozniacki swept aside Heather Watson with a clinical performance, defeating the Brit 6-3, 6-3.