WUHAN, September 24, 2018 (Press Release)
Day Three of the action-packed 2018 Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open is set to showcase this year’s amazing playing field at the US$2.7 million WTA Premier 5 event in Central China.
Three of this year’s reigning Grand Slam champions will light up the 15,000-seater center court, with Australian Open winner Caroline Wozniacki, Roland Garros champion Simona Halep and Wimbledon victor Angelique Kerber all in second round action.
A strong showing in Wuhan could help Kerber’s chances of reclaiming the World No.1 spot before the close of the season. “When I start the year, as well, I mean, I was 21 or something. I’m really not thinking about rankings,” said Kerber. “For me it’s the most important thing that I go on court, play my best, have fun out there, enjoying every single moment at the end of the season. If you play good, win your match, yeah, we will see what’s happening at the end of the year.” However the German faces a stern test in her first match in the shape of 2017 US Open runner-up Madison Keys.
Two-time Wimbledon and two-time Wuhan Open winner Petra Kvitova, seeded fifth in Wuhan this year, also makes a return to one of her favourite arenas when she takes on Aleksandra Krunic in their second round match.
Defending Wuhan Open champion Caroline Garcia joins Halep in the night session. Garcia opens her title defence against qualifier Katerina Siniakova before Halep takes on former Wuhan Open runner-up Dominika Cibulkova.
Muguruza advances to second round
Two-time Grand Slam champion Garbiñe Muguruza was among the stars to shine on a busy Monday in Wuhan. Muguruza, seeded 14, avenged her Wimbledon defeat at hands of Alison Van Uytvanck with a 64 60 win to reach the second round in Wuhan. She now faces qualifier Viktorija Golubic in the second round.
There were wins elsewhere for Cibulkova, who beat Monica Niculescu 64 63, and 16th seed Ashleigh Barty, who got the better of Great Britain’s Johanna Konta with a hard-fought 75 64 victory. Barty now takes on Chinese fan favourite Saisai Zheng for a place in Round Three.
Photo Gallery (by Xinhua News Agency):
RESULTS – SEPTEMBER 24, 2018
Singles – Second Round
S. Zhang (CHN) d [LL] P. Hercog (SLO) 62 75
D. Gavrilova (AUS) d  J. Ostapenko (LAT) 62 64
 K. Bertens (NED) d B. Bencic (SUI) 63 46 62
 G. Muguruza (ESP) d A. Van Uytvanck (BEL) 64 60
 A. Barty (AUS) d J. Konta (GBR) 75 64
D. Cibulkova (SVK) d [LL] M. Niculescu (ROU) 64 63
[Q] X. Wang (CHN) d [WC] B. Pera (USA) 64 63
[Q] S. Kenin (USA) d S. Hsieh (TPE) 61 61
A. Sabalenka (BLR) d C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) 76(2) 26 62
M. Keys (USA) d [Q] Y. Wang (CHN) 63 63
A. Krunic (SRB) d C. Giorgi (ITA) 64 46 64
D. Vekic (CRO) d C. Vandeweghe (USA) 64 36 21 Retired
[Q] V. Golubic (SUI) d [Q] S. Sorribes Tormo (ESP) 63 57 64
[WC] Q. Wang (CHN) d M. Sakkari (GRE) 75 62
B. Strycova (CZE) d A. Cornet (FRA) 63 62
Doubles – First Round
 E. Mertens (BEL) / D. Schuurs (NED) d R. Atawo (USA) / A. Groenefeld (GER) 75 62
 N. Melichar (USA) / K. Peschke (CZE) d H. Chan (TPE) / Z. Yang (CHN) 76(4) 26 10-5
D. Gavrilova (AUS) / S. Zheng (CHN) d A. Rosolska (POL) / A. Spears (USA) 64 46 10-7
A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) / A. Sevastova (LAT) d L. Arruabarrena (ESP) / D. Jurak (CRO) 64 63
V. King (USA) / M. Niculescu (ROU) d A. Krunic (SRB) / K. Siniakova (CZE) 64 62