Wang Xinyu upsets Raducanu; Halep takes revenge on Sasnovich in Linz

Chinese qualifier Wang Xinyu provided the 2021 Upper Austrian ladies Linz’s biggest surprise on Tuesday evening, taking them to number 1 in the series and reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu of Great Britain, 6-1, 6-7 (0 ), surpassed 7-5. , in the second round.

World number 106 Wang took 2 hours 36 minutes to beat this year’s most recent Grand Slam champion, and the 20-year-old from Shenzhen is getting closer to her potential to make her Top 100 debut.

“I really felt the passion here,” Wang told the crowd on Center Court after her triumph. “It’s also my first time here, I really enjoy playing this tournament.”

Read more: Wang Xinyu on literature, friendship and why Li Na is like a ‘big sister’

Quick Facts: Wang is now in her third WTA quarter-final of the season and her second in a row, having reached the last eight two weeks ago in Courmayeur.

Coming to Linz, Wang had played against Top 20 opponents for the first four times in her career this season, and she was unable to win a set in any of those clashes.

But with Raducanu just hitting her new career-high ranking of World No.20 in singles this week, Wang was able to take her first Top 20 win in Linz.

Story of the match: Wang played an aggressive style in the first set, moving forward whenever she could to take the lead for the points. Wang finished the first set with 13 winners and just three unforced errors, and she never got a break point while winning six games in a row.

Raducanu showed some of her US Open form in the second set, although she failed to hold on to early service breaks 1-0 and 3-2 on two occasions. But after the pair ended up in a tiebreak, Raducanu hit the winners at will. The Brit started the breaker with a forehand winner and finished it six points later with an ace.

There were no breakpoints in the deciding final set until Wang made a love break through it for 5-4. While serving for the match, Wang lost two match points as Raducanu pulled the level back to 5-5, but the Chinese player quickly worked out another break for 6-5.

“I always try to believe in myself and always try to focus on this point at this point and just enjoy the game,” Wang said on court, when asked how she felt after her first two match points came and used to go.

Wang’s second chance to serve for the game went much better as she made the game easier to claim her best win of her career. Wang finished the game with 32 winners to 24 unforced errors, while Raducanu’s total of 21 winners were surpassed by 28 unforced errors.

Wang continues: Next up for Wang is a quarterfinal matchup with United States number 8 seed Alison Riske. Riske defeated France’s AlizĂ© Cornet 6-4, 6-4 earlier on Tuesday. It is the first meeting between Wang and former Top 20 player Riske.

Halep demands revenge on Sasnovich

Number 2 Simona Halep got off to a satisfying start to her Upper Austrian Ladies Linz campaign, taking revenge on Aliaksandra Sasnovich in a high-quality 7-5, 6-3 second-round win.

Sasnovich had beaten Halep 7-5, 6-4 in the third round of Indian Wells a month ago, and in their rematch he tested the former world No. 1 with a series of brilliantly constructed points and hot shots. In all, she fired 20 winners on Halep’s 21, landing 71% of her first serve.

Halep, however, was rock solid on key points of the game, as Sasnovich’s level fluctuated unpredictably, leaking 18 unforced errors to the two-time major champion’s 13. The Romanian, who reached her first final of an injury-hit 2021 at home in Cluj-Napoca two weeks ago, remains in the hunt to claim the Linz title. If she unlocks that feat in her final tournament of the year, Halep will maintain her streak of winning at least one WTA trophy a year since 2013.

Match management: The scoreboard in the first set could, on paper, indicate extreme momentum shifts, with Halep taking a 4-0 lead but looping back to 4-4 before knocking out 7-5. But in reality, it was narrowly contested the whole time.

Three of the first four games went to two, and Halep had to find her biggest deliveries to free herself from long battles behind her serve. That would be one of her main strengths: The 30-year-old has shared how much she worked on her serve as her torn calf muscle healed this summer, and it has paid off since her return. Today Halep landed six aces and many more irreversible serves.

Sasnovich’s good play in the opening phase had earned the world No. 85 a small reward, but she hit an amazing purple patch in the middle of the set, winning 12 out of 13 points to get back on service. One of the spectacular points she won was a beautifully constructed set piece with two drop shots and two lobs; a ridiculously sharp forehand angle on the run; and a backhand winner half volley from the baseline.

But Halep nodded to regain control and slammed a backhand return winner to break Sasnovich for the set. As in the first set, she jumped to a quick 3-0 lead in the second, ramping up her aggression with some excellent down-the-line at bats. This time, however, Halep stayed sharp to avoid any danger of another comeback.

In Halep’s words: “I think she changed her game a little bit. She played a little faster and flatter, and it was really hard to give those balls back. The ball didn’t bounce that much, so the rhythm changed. I think I backed up a little bit. did and got defensive. But overall I think it was a good match.”

What’s next for Halep: A quarterfinal showdown with No. 7 Jasmine Paolini, who came out of a disturbance in the third set and defeated Zheng Saisai 6-1, 2-6, 6-4.

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