WUHAN, September 24, 2019 (Press Release)
Despite facing some strong tests on day three of the 2019 Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open seven of the top eight seeds have made it through to the round of 16. Ashleigh Barty, Karolina Pliskova, Elina Svitolina, Simona Halep, Kiki Bertens and Wang Qiang all join Petra Kvitova in round three of the Premier 5 event.
In a repeat of the 2017 Wuhan Open final top seed Ashleigh Barty reversed the result to defeat Caroline Garcia 4-6 6-4 6-1 in her opening match in Wuhan.
— WTA (@WTA) September 24, 2019
“I know it’s going to be a tough match no matter particularly when you’ve played someone in a final at the same event,” Barty commented after the match. “Obviously Caro loves these conditions. I find them very nice to play in, as well. I feel like it was a quality match against a good friend of mine. Glad that I could get through in the end.”
The Roland Garros champion will now play Sofia Kenin who edged past Elise Mertens 4-6 6-4 7-6(5). Kenin won the the pair’s last meeting in Toronto but Barty vowed not to let the memory affect her preparations:
“Yeah, probably take nothing from that last match. Different conditions, different balls. I feel like I’m in a better place than I was in Toronto. I feel like I’ve hit a lot more balls. I’m very much better prepared. In saying that, I have to look at that match and take into account what I didn’t do well, what I did do well, and try and bring that into tomorrow as best as I can.”
No.2 seed Karolina Pliskova dismissed the challenge of eighteen-year-old American Amanda Animisova 6-3 6-3 to book her place in the next round and a match-up against another rising youngster nineteen-year-old Dayana Yastremska who defeated Christina Mchale 6-3 7-6(7).
⁰⁰Tops Anisimova 6-3, 6-3 pic.twitter.com/TXaF3Wlowl
— WTA (@WTA) September 24, 2019
Third seed Elina Svitolina opened her account in Wuhan on Tuesday with an impressive 7-5 6-2 win over Garbine Muguruza. A highly competitive first set led on to some strong tennis in the second set from the Ukrainian, who was pleased with her overall performance:
“Well, I think it was a very tough match for the first match for me. I think, you know, I played solid game. There was some great, great rallies, some tough games, which was quite expected. It’s always tough to play someone who is straight, gives you high-level tennis.
“That’s why I had to be focused, that’s why I had to stay focused throughout the match. She started amazing. She was striking the ball really good. I had to stay very tough. As always, I had to keep fighting and try to get every single point back, try to fight for every point. In the end, I got the chance and I took it. So this was something that was good today, that I was on it when I had to be.”
Svitolina will now play former Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova who continued her impressive run from qualifying to make the last 16 with a 6-2 7-6(5) victory over Su-Wei Hsieh.
Simona Halep navigated through a potentially tricky second round match against Barbora Strycova 6-3 6-2 to advance to the third round.
The Wimbledon Champion knew playing Strycova would not be easy but was confident, holding a 5-0 winning record against the Czech player:
“It’s always tough against her because, as you said, it’s tricky. She comes to the net. Sometimes she slices the balls. It’s never easy to play against her. But I’m confident every time because I have few matches won against her, so it’s a good thing for me. I think it’s one of the best matches that I played here.
The Romanian will now play wildcard Elena Rybakina who scored a three set victory over lucky loser Ons Jabeur 6-1 6-7(3) 6-2.
No.6 seed Kiki Bertens out-battled qualifier Bernarda Pera 6-3 4-6 6-2 to set up a clash with defending champion Aryna Sabalenka in the next round. However seventh seed Belinda Bencic was the only one of the top eight not to make it through, falling to Veronika Kudermetova in three sets 2-6 6-3 6-4. Kudermetova will now face Petra Martic who saw off lucky loser Rebecca Peterson 60 36 61.
Home hopes were kept alive by eighth seed Wang Qiang who put on an impressive display for Chinese tennis fans on Tuesday evening seeing off Marie Bouzkova in straight sets 6-3 6-3. Wang’s next opponent will be American Alison Riske after she came back from a set down to overcome Olympic Champion Monica Puig 2-6 7-6(5) 6-3.
Fellow American Sloane Stephens completes the last 16 line-up after withstanding a strong challenge from China’s Yafan Wang 6-2 3-6 6-1 and will next play two-time Wuhan Open Champion Petra Kvitova.
RESULTS – SEPTEMBER 24, 2019
Singles – Second Round
 A. Barty (AUS) d C. Garcia (FRA) 46 64 61
 K. Pliskova (CZE) d A. Anisimova (USA) 63 63
 E. Svitolina (UKR) d G. Muguruza (ESP) 75 62
 S. Halep (ROU) d B. Strycova (CZE) 63 62
 K. Bertens (NED) d [Q] B. Pera (USA) 36 64 62
[Q] V. Kudermetova (RUS) d  B. Bencic (SUI) 26 63 64
 Q. Wang (CHN) d M. Bouzkova (CZE) 63 63
 S. Stephens (USA) d Y. Wang (CHN) 62 36 61
 S. Kenin (USA) d E. Mertens (BEL) 46 64 76(5)
P. Martic (CRO) d [LL] R. Peterson (SWE) 60 36 61
[WC] E. Rybakina (KAZ) d [LL] O. Jabeur (TUN) 61 67(3) 62
A. Riske (USA) d M. Puig (PUR) 26 76(5) 63
[Q] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) d S. Hsieh (TPE) 62 76(5)
D. Yastremska (UKR) d [Q] C. Mchale (USA) 63 76(7)
Doubles – Second Round
M. Ninomiya (JPN) / Z. Yang (CHN) d  G. Dabrowski (CAN) / Y. Xu (CHN) 76(7) 75
 S. Stosur (AUS) / S. Zhang (CHN) d E. Alexandrova (RUS) / K. Siniakova (CZE) 63 75
 H. Chan (TPE) / L. Chan (TPE) d A. Riske (USA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) 63 62
N. Kichenok (UKR) / A. Spears (USA) d E. Perez (AUS) / A. Rosolska (POL) 63 64
S. Kenin (USA) / A. Sasnovich (BLR) d D. Kasatkina (RUS) / A. Tomljanovic (AUS) 76(5) 63
L. Kichenok (UKR) / D. Krawczyk (USA) d S. Peng (CHN) / Y. Wang (CHN) 64 57 10-2