Former world number one Garbine Muguruza has been sent packing from the China open by Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets 7-5, 6-4. The Wuhan champion overpowered the Spaniard in comprehensive fashion and proved that she could handle the big stage. Sabalenka looked in complete control of the match. Although she needed three match points to defeat the former Wimbledon champion.
However Muguruza was not the only casualty. Former French open champion, Elena Ostapenko, the twelfth seed, was dispatched in ruthless fashion by the Chinese Qiang Wang 6-0, 6-0. Ostapenko never looked to be comfortable on the court and was struggling with an apparent shoulder injury. The Chinese top seed capitalized on the numerous errors from the Latvian. “I didn’t do anything exceptional,” said Wang. “I think it was a gift from her’, said the Chinese. “She gave the games to me. She just made too many errors and double faults. I think she was struggling.”
Meanwhile 2018 slam winners Naomi Osaka and Angelique Kerber, progressed to the next round of the China Open, with considerable ease. Osaka defeated the American, Danielle Rose Collins in straight sets 6-1, 6-0. Angelique Kerber meanwhile, overcame Carla Suárez Navarro in straight sets 7-6(4), 6-1. After a tough first set, the Wimbledon Champion surfed through the second set winning five games on a trot.
“I think we both played good tennis in the first set,” said Kerber. “The conditions with the shadow on court were also not so easy to play in the first set. “In the second set, I was just trying to keep going, like I finished the first set, just trying to stay in the match and playing even better than in the first set. Actually, I was just more focusing on my game.”
Fourth seed Caroline Garcia and Dominika Cibulkova were others who managed to breeze into the third round of the China Open. Cibulkova overcame the talented Daniela Gavrilova in straight sets 6-3, 6-3. Caroline Garcia also had it easy against Polona Hercog 7-6(2), 6-3. Eleventh seed Kiki Bertens also booked her place in the third round after defeating Kristen Flipkens in straight sets 6-1, 6-1.