Stephens makes early exits at China Open, home favorite Peng Shuai advances

新华社| 2017-10-03 00:17:03|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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BEIJING, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- Chinese player Peng Shuai edged out Shelby Rogers of the United States by 7-6 (3), 3-6, 7-5 to advance to the second round at 2017 China Open here on Monday, while US Open champion Sloane Stephens was knocked out in the first round.

Both Peng and her American opponents played strong tennis throughout until Peng broke Rogers' serve in the 12th game in the third set to claim the victory.

"I think there are lots of twists and turns. In the third set I took 4-1 lead then there were a lot of game points. But all of a sudden I felt really nervous, feeling a little bit afraid to play. But When it was 5-5, I felt that I shouldn't be so conservative, that I should fight," Peng said, adding she was really tired after the two hours and 48 minutes marathon match.

Awaiting Peng in the second round is Monica Niculescu of Romania, who stunned the world No.7 Johanna Konta of Britain 6-1, 6-2.

"She has a very strange way of playing. When I played her before, she played a lot of slice. I think I need to be fully prepared when I play her," Peng said.

The most jaw-dropping shocker came as US Open champion Stephens was defeated by her fellow American qualifier Christina McHale 6-3, 6-0 in just 62 minutes.

Last week the 24-year-old lost to home player Wang Qiang in the opening round of the Wuhan Open. The loss extends Stephens' poor run after sealing her first Grand Slam last month.

"Tough day, not really much to say," Stephens said. "Obviously not a great match so just forget about it and move on, try to have a better level for the next tournament."

World No.1 Garbine Muguruza of Spain also fell at the first hurdle as she retired ill from the first round of the China Open. The Spaniard lost 6-1 in the first set to unseeded Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic before calling a medical timeout at 2-0 down in the second set and then called it quits.

"I got virus in Wuhan. It's good that I could play on Monday. I had more days to rest. But, in fact, I couldn't perform today." the reigning Wimbledon champion said.

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark eased past Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 6-2, 6-2.