5 Grand Slam Champions in Round of 16 Action
Five Grand Slam champions will play on Center Court on Day 4 of the 2019 Wuhan Open.
2019 Wimbledon Champion Simona Halep opens against World No. 50 Elena Rybakina in a first-ever meeting between the two. Halep will need to play well on Wednesday as Rybakina is in good form, having won her first WTA title earlier this year in Bucharest and making the finals in Nanchang a few weeks ago.
In the day’s second match, World No. 3 Elina Svitolina takes on qualifier Svetlana Kuznetsova. While Kuznetsova’s rankings have taken a tumble due to injury layoff this year, the Russian is a two-time Grand Slam champion and is finding her form on hard courts. Svitolina owns a 2-1 edge, but the two haven’t played since last year, when Svitolina toughed out a 7-6, 4-6, 6-4 win in Cincinnati. “She's been playing good recently. It's going to be another tough match,” said Svitolina after dispatching two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza in Tuesday’s play. “I know her game style, I know what to expect. I have to be ready physically, mentally for the fight.”
World No. 1 and French Open champion Ashleigh Barty follows, playing against No. 15 seed Sofia Kenin. Looking to hold on to the top ranking this week, Barty will have added reason to bring her A-game as Kenin won their most recent meeting this summer in Canada in three tight sets. However, the young Australian is confident that a different result is in the cards. “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,” she said after her Round of 32 match.
In the last match of the night session, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova takes on 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens. Both women are looking for match wins, as Kvitova has been sidelined with a forearm injury this season and Stephens has put back-to-back wins together for the first time since Wimbledon after defeating two Chinese players, Shuai Zhang and Yafan Wang, this week. Wuhan Open fans will be looking forward to this contest as both women are known for possessing easy power, able to hit spectacular winners from almost anywhere on the court.
（Photo：Wuhan Open Official photo library — Vision China）