Errani wins opener at inaugural Wuhan Open
WUHAN, China (AP) Caroline Garcia followed up her first-round win over Venus Williams with a 3-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (7) upset win over fifth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska on Monday at the inaugural Wuhan Open.
The 20-year-old Frenchwoman went for broke, continuing to hit big ground strokes despite piling up unforced errors as she tried to keep Radwanska on the back foot.
''It's pretty different game between Venus and Radwanska, but I did the same game for myself,'' Garcia said. ''Against these kind of girls like Radwanska you have to do (this kind) of game ... sometime you can miss, but I knew it was the only way I can win this today.''
In first-round matches, No. 10 Jelena Jankovic beat Christina McHale of the United States 6-4, 6-4 and No. 11 Sara Errani of Italy reeled off the last six games to beat Heather Watson of Britain 7-5, 6-4.
Ninth-seeded Ana Ivanovic, who won the title in Tokyo on the weekend, was among the four seeded players who lost on Monday. She retired with a thigh problem when Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was serving for the match at 7-5, 6-5, while No. 12 and Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova retired with a left ankle problem at the start of the third set after splitting the first two sets with American Madison Keys. Sabine Lisicki of Germany beat No. 14 Lucie Safarova 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 and Australian qualifier Jarmila Gajdosova ousted No. 15 Flavia Pennetta 6-1, 6-4.
Mona Barthel of Germany beat crowd favorite Peng Shuai of China 6-2, 7-6 (1) and Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic had a 6-4, 6-4 win over former U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur.
Among those advancing were Alize Cornet of France, Casey Dellacqua of Australia, Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain and U.S. player Coco Vandeweghe, who beat Annika Beck of Germany 6-3, 6-2.
Almost all the WTA's top 20 players are in Wuhan, with the notable exception of hometown player Li Na, who announced her retirement last Friday.
The strength of the field and the more than $2 million on offer in prize money reflect the importance the women's tour continues to place on the booming Asian tennis market.
Wuhan is one of three new WTA-level tournaments added in China this year, along with Hong Kong and Tianjin. The newcomers bring the total number of tournaments in China to six - behind only the United States, which has eight.
The season-ending WTA Championship was also moved this year to Singapore through 2018.
All the additions mean that the elite players are spending a considerable amount of time in Asia in coming months.
Maria Sharapova, who was due to play her opening match later Monday against fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, credited the success of two-time major winner Li and her massive appeal in China for the WTA's push into Asia.
''I think she was one of the biggest reasons why there is such an international tournament in Wuhan. She brought all of us here, so I think it's a little extra sad that she won't be participating this year,'' Sharapova said.