It was a bad day to be a top seed on Wednesday as No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki, No. 3 Angelique Kerber, No. 5 Petra Kvitova, No. 13 Daria Kasatkina, and No. 14 Garbine Muguruza all fell in the Round of 16 at the Wuhan Open.
After Halep’s ouster in Tuesday’s late match, Kerber looked prime to make inroads towards the year-end No. 1 ranking with a deep run in Wuhan. However, poor serving early on allowed No. 16 Ashleigh Barty to open a 5-2 lead in the first match of the day. The particularly spacious Centre Court was ideal for both women known for their stellar defense as they raced beyond the tramlines to retrieve balls. Kerber’s game now steadied, she found her way back to 5-all and actually had two break points for a 6-5 lead. Barty saved both and in the next game, Kerber threw in a double fault to hand the young Australian the set. The second set went quickly, as Kerber’s problems with serving (46% first serves in and 6 double faults) and break point conversion (just 1 for 7) continued. Barty sealed the win with an ace, ushering her into the quarterfinals.
There will be no third Wuhan Open crown for No. 5 Petra Kvitova as she fell 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Ten double faults turned out to be the Czech’s undoing as she dropped serve 5 times, including the final game. Pavlyuchenkova next faces Barty for a semifinal berth.
Dominika Cibulkova dumped her second seeded opponent in a row, taking out No. 13 Daria Kasatkina not long after disposing of world No. 1 Simona Halep in the previous round. Kasatkina had reached the quarterfinals or better eight times in 2018, but will have to wait for number nine. Having engineered a Houdini-esque escape in the previous round by saving four match points against Chinese qualifier Wang Xiyu, there was no miracle left for the Russian today as Cibulkova came out victorious, 6-3, 7-6 (3). Cibulkova will play Aryna Sabalenka who continued her stellar play on hard courts in 2018 with a 6-3, 6-3 win over qualifier Sofia Kenin.
Also exiting on this day of carnage for top seeds was No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki, falling 7-6 (10), 7-5 against Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig in a dramatic rematch of their meeting earlier this year in Miami, also won by the world No. 51. Puig moves on to her first Premier 5 quarterfinal where she’ll face Qiang Wang after the new Chinese No. 1 continued her Cinderella Asian Swing by taking out Australia’s Daria Gavrilova, 7-5, 6-2.
The final quarterfinal will pit Anett Konteveit against qualifier Katerina Siniakova. Konteveit took out Chinese No. 2 Shuai Zhang, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 while Siniakova dispatched No. 14 Garbine Muguruza in a marathon night match, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (1), leaving No. 16 Ashleigh Barty the only seed to make it through to the quarterfinals.
For complete results, or to buy tickets to the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open, visit: www.wuhanopen.org and www.4008702014.com