2016 US Open runner-up Karolina Pliskova bounces back from a second round exit in the recently concluded Toray Pan Pacific Open by beating Czech compatriot Lucie Safarova in the 2016 Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open. Pliskova reaches the round of sixteen with a 6-3, 7-5 rout over the world no. 43 Safarova in a one-hour and forty-two minute match.
After splitting back-to-back finals with current world no. 1 Angelique Kerber in the US Open and the 2016 Western and Southern Open, Pliskova’s stumble in Tokyo to tournament qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich put an unexpected speed bump on the world number six’s late season surge. Should Pliskova regain the form that carried her in her previous two tournaments, a possible finals rematch with Kerber in Wuhan remains far from inconceivable.
Karolina Pliskova begins the first set by drawing first blood over Lucie Safarova, on her way to winning two of the first three games for an early 2-1 lead. Safarova ties with Pliskova in the next game with a 40-15 win. The two players then split the next two games to remain even at 3-3. Karolina Pliskova then comes up with three straight wins to finally close out the match opener after a brief thirty-eight minute frame.
Pliskova took the service game over her Czech senior through the first and second serves. She finished with 15 of 19 (79%) first serve points against 9 of 12 (75%) from Lucie Safarova. Karolina Pliskova was able to come up with a slight lead on the second serves. She won 7 of 14 (50%) second serve points compared to a close 6 of 13 (46%) second serve finish from Safarova. Pliskova topped off her service game win with 3 aces to love against her opponent. Karolina Pliskova also had the only break point of the first frame. She broke Safarova once out of two break point attempts, while managing to deflect all three of Lucie Safarova’s break point chances.
The second set starts with Karolina Pliskova once again winning the first game. She follows through by taking three of the first four games to establish a 3-1 lead. Safarova suddenly comes to life, as she wins three straight games to grab the lead from Pliskova at 4-3. Unfazed, Pliskova steadies herself with a back-to-back wins to reach set point at 5-4. Safarova then ties the second round match one last time by winning the following game. Karolina Pliskova then seals the match victory with a final two-win burst, ending the final frame after a grueling one-hour and three minute battle.
Lucie Safarova was able to dominate on the first serves with 24 of 36 (67%) first serve points against just 16 of 21 (76%) from Karolina Pliskova. The higher ranked Pliskova also fell behind on the second serves, winning just 5 of 13 (38%) second serve points compared to an 8 of 28 (29%) finish from Safarova. Karolina Pliskova was able to recover by firing 9 aces to 2 against her opponent. Despite getting seven break point attempts saved by Safarova, Pliskova was still able to come out on top of the returns. She broke Safarova thrice, while managing to save two of Safarova’s four break point opportunities.
Karolina Pliskova will face the winner of the second round match between Slovakian world no. 12 Dominika Cibulkova and German world no. 31 Laura Siegemund in the Wuhan Open round of sixteen.
Dominika Cibulkova makes her way to the second round by surviving French world no. 58 Alize Cornet. Cibulkova claims a 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 victory after a marathon two hour and six minute first round match. Ever since winning the 2016 Aegon International in Eastbourne last June, Cibulkova’s winning ways have gradually slowed down. This weakening of form culminated in a second round exit in the 2016 Toray Pan Pacific at the hands of up-and-coming world no. 66 Naomi Osaka.
Tournament seventh seed Carla Suarez Navarro reaches the round of sixteen in the Wuhan Open by sweeping Belgian world no. 59 Yanina Wickmayer. Suarez Navarro marches past Wickmayer with a 6-4, 6-3 win in a one hour and ten minute second round match. The world no. 8 Carla Suarez Navarro is looking to bounce back from a second round exit in the Toray Pan Pacific Open.
Carla Suarez Navarro will face the winner of the second round match between United Kingdom world no. 13 Johanna Konta and Chinese world no. 38 Shuai Zhang.
Johanna Konta enters the second round of the Wuhan Open by defeating German world no. 48 Annika Beck. Konta eases past Beck with a 6-1, 6-2 sweep after a one hour and seven minute match. Johanna Konta continues her strong push late in the season of reaching no less than the third round in her last four tournaments.
Meanwhile, Shuai Zhang defeats Chinese compatriot Shuai Peng to advance to the second round of their home tournament. Zhang wins back-to-back frames after dropping the first to the tournament wildcard Peng for a 6(5)-7(7), 6-3, 6-4 comeback victory after a grueling two hour and thirty-eight minute match. The win also give Shuai Zhang first blood over her countrywoman Shuai Peng in their singles head to head match record.
Among the first three players to enter the round of sixteen of the 2016 Wuhan Open, tournament fourth seed Simona Halep gets the smoothest road to round three. Halep won the first set over Romanian compatriot Irina-Camelia Begu and was leading 2-0 in the second frame when the world no. 26 Begu was forced to retire due to injuries. Simona Halep is looking to regain the form that gave her back-to-back titles in Romania and Montreal last July. In her previous two tournaments prior to Wuhan, Angelique Kerber and Serena Williams are the only players to win against Simona Halep.
Simona Halep awaits the winner of the second round match between Kazakh world no. 41 Yaroslava Shvedova and Italian world no. 15 Roberta Vinci.
2016 Toray Pan Pacific Open champion Caroline Wozniacki carries over her brilliant play from Tokyo with an easy victory over world no. 19 Samantha Stosur. The newly risen world no. 22 Wozniacki dominated Stosur with 6-3, 6-2 victory in a one hour and sixteen minute second round match. The win improves Caroline Wozniacki to a 7-5 record against Samantha Stosur. Wozniacki has now beaten Stosur in two out of their three matches of 2016.
Caroline Wozniacki sets up a second round match with Czech Republic world no. 56 Katerina Siniakova.
French world no. 24 Caroline Garcia reaches round two of the Wuhan Open over Croatian world no. 64 Mirjana Lucic-Baroni. Garcia moves past Lucic-Baroni with a 6-2, 6-4 straight sets win after a one hour and twelve minute first round match. The victory gives Caroline Garcia an unblemished 4-0 match record against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.
Up next for Caroline Garcia is a second round match with Wuhan eighth seed Madison Keys. Heading into their Wuhan Open matchup, Caroline Garcia holds a 1-0 advantage over the world no. 8 Keys in their singles head to head record. Unfortunately for Caroline Garcia, she also enters the match against Keys with a 0-3 record against top ten ranked players this year.
Russian world no. 28 Daria Kasatkina enters the second round of the Wuhan Open by beating German world no. 66 Julia Goerges. The 19-year old Kasatkina adds her contribution to the rash of Wuhan Open sweeps with a 6-0, 6-4 win after a one hour and fifteen minute first round match. The win also ties Daria Kasatkina at 1-1 with Julia Goerges in their singles head to head match record.
Daria Kasatkina will face fellow next generation talent Louisa Chirico in the second round. Entering their Wuhan matchup, the higher ranked Kasatkina holds an undefeated 2-0 record against the world no. 74 Louisa Chirico.
Serbian world no. 39 Jelena Jankovic makes it through to the second round of the 2016 Dongfeng Wuhan Motor Open by defeating Australian world no. 50 Daria Gavrilova. Jelena Jankovic sweeps Daria Gavrilova 6-2, 6-2 in a one hour and twenty-seven minute first round match. The 2016 Guangzhou International Women’s Open champion Jankovic draws first blood over Gavrilova in their singles head to head match record.
Jelena Jankovic will face 2016 Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open second seed Garbine Muguruza. Heading into their second round match, the world no. 3 Garbine Muguruza holds a 3-1 singles head to head match record with Jelena Jankovic.
Czech Republic world no. 21 Barbora Strycova survives a three-set battle with Italian world no. 35 Sara Errani. The 30-year old Strycova outlasts the 29-year old Errani with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 victory after a marathon two hour and nine minute match. The win is the just the second win for Barbora Strycova against the lower ranked Sara Errani. Overall, Errani leads Strycova 7-1 in their singles head to head match record.
Barbora Strycova will face Japanese world no. 33 Misaki Doi in the second round of the 2016 Wuhan Open. Heading into their round two match, Strycova holds a 1-0 record over Doi in their singles head to head matchup.
Misaki Doi benefits from a first round retirement from Russian world no. 17 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Doi was leading Pavlyuchenkova 3-1 in the third frame, after splitting the first two sets, when the 25-year old Pavlyuchenkova was forced to concede the first round meeting due to injuries. The victory gives Misaki Doi first blood over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in their singles head to head match record.
Ukrainian world no. 18 Elina Svitolina outlasts American world no. 131 Bethanie Mattek-Sands to reach the second round of the 2016 Wuhan Open. Svitolina wins back-to-back frames, after dropping the first to Mattek-Sands, for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 comeback win in a one of the longest matches of the first round at two hours and forty-one minutes. The victory also gives Elina Svitolina first blood over Bethanie Mattek-Sands in their singles head to head match record.
Elina Svitolina will face Czech Republic world no. 16 Petra Kvitova in the next round. The higher ranked Kvitova holds a 4-1 advantage over Elina Svitolina in their singles head to head match record.
Petra Kvitova advances to the second round of the 2016 Wuhan Open by beating Latvian world no. 46 Jelena Ostapenko. Kvitova eases past Ostapenko with a 6-3, 6-1 straight sets victory after a one hour and eight minute first round match. Petra Kvitova unleashed 7 aces to 1 over Jelena Ostapenko. She also doubled Ostapenko on the first serves. Kvitova finished with 24 of 33 (73%) first serve points against a 12 of 28 (43%) total from her Latvian opponent. The Wuhan win ties Kvitova with Ostapenko at 2-2 in their singles head to head match record.
French world no. 54 Kristina Mladenovic moves through to the second round of the Wuhan Open with an upset win over American world no. 32 Coco Vandeweghe. Mladenovic sweeps Vandeweghe 7-6, 6-3 in a one hour and fifty-three minute first round match. Kristina Mladenovic finally notches her first win over the higher ranked Coco Vandeweghe. The 23-year old Mladenovic improves to a 1-4 record against 25-year old New York native.
Kristina Mladenovic will be tested by world no. 1 Angelique Kerber in round two of the 2016 Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open.
American world no. 72 Madison Brengle fares better than some of her compatriots, as she reaches the second round of the Wuhan Open via a retirement from United Kingdom world no. 76 Heather Watson. Brengle won the first set 6-3 and was leading Watson 2-1, twenty-one minutes into the second frame, when the 24-year old Watson was forced to call off the match due to injury concerns. The withdrawal gives Madison Brengle her first victory over Heather Watson out of three career singles matches.
Madison Brengle will meet Wuhan ninth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova in the second round of the Wuhan Open. Entering their upcoming match in round two, Svetlana Kuznetsova holds a 1-0 singles head to head match record over Madison Brengle.
In another first round match the ended up with a retirement, Kazakhstan world no. 36 Yulia Putintseva gets a free pass from world no. 30 Anastasija Sevastova to reach the second round. Putintseva won the first set 6-1 and was leading the second at 4-1 when Sevastova was forced to retire twenty-four minutes into the frame. The victory also gives Yulia Putintseva first blood over the 26-year old Anastasija Sevastova in their singles head to head match record.
Yulia Putintseva will be tested by Wuhan Open sixth seed Venus Williams in round two. Entering their second round meeting, Venus Williams has a 3-1 advantage over Yulia Putintseva in their singles head to head matchup.
In other 2016 Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open results, the team of doubles world no. 67 Christina McHale and doubles world no. 86 Shuai Peng reach the second round of the tournament by defeating the all-French team of Alize Cornet and Pauline Parmentier. McHale and Peng advance over Cornet and Parmentier with a 6-2, 6-3 win after a one hour and six minute first round match.
Up next for Christina McHale and Shuai Peng is a second round match with another all-French team. They set up a match with tournament top seeds Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic in the 2016 Dongfeng Wuhan Open doubles draw.
The all-American team of doubles world no. 19 Raquel Atawo and Abigail Spears defeat the all-Chinese team of doubles world no. 22 Yifan Xu and doubles world no. 23 Saisai Zheng. Atawo and Spears hand Xu and Zheng a 6-3, 6-4 sweep after a one hour and fifteen minute first round match.
Raquel Atawo and Abigail Spears will face tournament eight seeds Julia Goerges and Karolina Pliskova in the second round of the Wuhan Open.
Wuhan Open sixth seeds Timea Babos and Yaroslava Shvedova move through to the second round by defeating doubles world no. 48 Maria Irigoyen and doubles world no. 62 Tatjana Maria. Babos and Shvedova takes down Irigoyen and Tatjana with a 7-5, 6-3 straight sets win after a one hour and twenty-three minute match.
Timea Babos and Yaroslava Shvedova will face the winner of the first round match between the doubles team of wildcards Timea Bacsinszky and Svetlana Kuznetsova versus the doubles team of Lara Arruabarrena and Oksana Kalashnikova.
Lastly, the team of doubles no. 41 Gabriela Dabrowski and doubles world no. 53 Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez ease past the team of doubles world no. 33 Arantxa Parra Santonja and doubles world no. 37 Anastasia Rodionova. Dabrowski and Martinez Sanchez sweep Parra Santonja and Rodionova 6-4, 6-1 in a one hour and four minute match.
Gabriela Dabrowski and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez will face Wuhan Open third seeds Sania Mirza and Barbora Strycova in the second round.