Friday March 1, 2013
Su-wei champion cruises past Zhang Shuai to reach last eight
By ASHREENA PILLAI
KUALA LUMPUR: Defending champion Hsieh Su-wei advanced to the quarter-finals of the BMW Malaysian Open tennis championships with a 6-2, 6-2 win over China’s Zhang Shuai at the Royal Selangor Golf Club (RSGC) yesterday.
Next up for world No. 23 Su-wei is American Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who disposed of China’s Duan Ying Ying 6-1, 6-4.
Russian third seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova also powered into the last eight with a straighforward 6-3, 6-3 triumph over Uzbek qualifier Akgul Amanmuradova.
However, the fairy-tale run of giant-killer Wang Qiang came to a premature end when she fell to a 3-6, 2-6 loss to unseeded Patricia Mayr-Achleitner.
The Austrian was expecting to face top seed Caroline Wozniacki but had to change her tactics against the relatively unknown Wang Qiang.
The Chinese girl caused a sensational upset when she bundled out Wozniacki 2-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-1 in the first round on Wednesday.
“It was unbelievable today. It was hot and humid. I was sweating a lot and my grip was so wet ... it’s quite hard to play in such conditions. Plus, I was expecting to play Wozniacki. So, it totally changed my plans and tactics,” said Mayr-Achleitner.
Wang Qiang’s exit leaves Thailand’s Lukisika Kumkhum as the only qualifier left standing on day three of the competition.
The Thai defeated Eleni Daniilidou of Greece 6-2, 6-4.
The 20-year-old from Chantaburi, Thailand, will be seeking to exact some form of revenge against Ayumi Morita in the last eight after the Japanese fifth seed had ousted Thai qualifier Nudnida Luangnam 6-3, 6-1 earlier.
In the doubles, the wildcard pairing of Malaysia’s Aslina Chua and China’s Yang Zi fought valiantly before bowing out to fourth seeds Rika Fujiwara of Japan and Zhang Saisai of China 5-7, 6-3, 4-10 in the first round.
“I think we played well. We were up against a top doubles pair, considering their experience and what they’ve achieved. It was tough but I couldn’t have asked for a better doubles partner to play with,” said Aslina.
Rika-Saisai will take on the Thai-Japanese combination of Luksika Kumkhum-Erika Sema next.
Meanwhile, the Pliskova twins of Kristyna and Karolina matched their best ever showing at the championships by making the semi-finals after a stunning 6-3, 3-6, 12-10 win over third seeds Irina Buryachok of Ukraine and Chan Hao-ching of Taiwan.
The Czech pair will meet second seeds Shuko Aoyama of Japan and Chang Kai-chen of Taiwan.
Singles First round: Hsieh Su-wei (Tpe) bt Kurumi Nara (Jpn) 6-7, 6-3, 6-4.
Second round: Ayumi Morita (Jpn) bt Nudnida Luangnam 6-3, 6-1; Bethanie Mattek-Sands (US) bt Duan Ying Ying (Chn) 6-1, 6-4; Karolina Pliskova (Cze) bt Misaki Doi (Jpn) 6-4, 7-6 (9-7); Luksika Kumkhum (Tha) bt Eleni Daniilidou (Gre) 6-2,6-4; Ashleigh Barty (Aus) bt Zarina Diyas (Kaz) 7-6 (7-3) , 6-4; Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Rus) bt Akgul Amanmuradova (Uzb) 6-3, 6-3; Patricia Mayr-Achleitner (Aut) bt Wang Qiang (Chn) 6-3, 6-2, Hsieh Su-wei (Tpe) bt Zhang Shuai (Chn) 6-2, 6-2.
First round: Rika Fujiwara-Zheng Saisai (Jpn-Chn) bt Aslina Chua-Yang Zi (Mas-Chn) 7-5, 3-6, 10-4.
Quarter-finals: Kristyna Pliskova-Karolina Pliskova (Cze) bt Irina Buryachok-Chan Hao-ching (Uzb-Tpe) 6-3, 3-6, 12-10; Shuko Aoyama-Chang Kai-Chen (Jpn-Tpe) bt Akgul Amanmuradova-Arina Rodionova (Uzb-Rus) 3-6, 7-6, 13-11.