Bittersweet day for China's women in French Open qualifiers

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-22 09:28:12|Editor: Liangyu
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PARIS, May 21 (Xinhua) -- There were mixed fortunes for China's women in the opening round of tennis' French Open qualifiers here on Tuesday, as Xu Shilin and Zhang Kailin marched on, while veteran Peng Shuai suffered an agonizing three-set loss.

Xu and her Swiss opponent, fourth seed Stefanie Voegele, traded early breaks after six games, before Xu had another break in the 10th game for a 6-4 victory in the opening set.

But Voegele improved her level of play in the following set to force a decider at 6-2.

Dissatisfied with her returns, Xu hit her racket onto the ground after the sixth game when the two players were level at 3-3.

Xu's fifth break of the match arrived in the eighth game, which proved decisive for her victory. She sealed a second round spot with a backhand on the second match point at 5-3.

"I did well today, but made too many mistakes at the start," admitted Xu. "As I have practiced both smashes and spins a lot, I need to adjust between them on court."

Xu added that playing on different surfaces was no problem for her, saying she can learn something and gain experience from every match regardless of the surface.

Meanwhile, Zhang Kailin also advanced to the second round, defeating her Croatian opponent Tereza Mrdeza 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 29 minutes.

Coming back from knee surgery after the Australian Open, 137th-ranked Peng Shuai was seen with heavy bandages on her right knee.

Peng's opener at Roland Garros against Slovakia's Rebecca Sramkova was briefly suspended due to rain when she led 3-1 in the first set.

She continued her momentum to register a 6-3 win, and also stayed ahead in the second set tiebreak.

Then Sramkova, 11 years younger than Peng, made the most of the court with long rallies. Hampered by knee problems, Peng often failed to return the ball as she would have liked. After conceding the tiebreak 7-5, the Chinese veteran had to bow out in the deciding set.

Liu Fangzhou became the other Chinese to be knocked out following a 6-1, 2-6, 6-2 defeat to Japan's Ayano Shimizu.

Wang Xiyu and Lu Jiajing will step onto court for their first round qualifiers in the women's singles on Wednesday, while Zhang Ze will look to find his way into the main draw for the men's singles.

The French Open qualifiers are being played until Friday, with 16 male and 12 female players looking to progress into the tournament proper.