Wang stuns Mladenovic, Kerber gains Osaka revenge in Tokyo

Reuters
Kristina Mladenovic suffers an epic Tokyo meltdown as the 8th-seeded Frenchwoman is pulverized by China's Wang Qiang, who inflicts the dreaded "double bagel" to win 6-0, 6-0.
Reuters
AFP

Wang Qiang returns a shot to Kristina Mladenovic of France during their first-round match at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on September 18, 2017. The Chinese scored a stunning 6-0, 6-0 victory.

China's Wang Qiang inflicted a "double bagel" on eighth seed Kristina Mladenovic of France in the first round of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on Monday.

Wang needed 48 minutes to seal the 6-0, 6-0 win over the world No. 15, who also suffered first-round defeats at the US Open and in Connecticut, Cincinnati and the Canadian Open.

Germany's seventh-seeded former world No. 1 Angelique Kerber beat last year's Pan Pacific runner-up Naomi Osaka 6-3, 6-4 to avenge her US Open defeat by the Japanese teenager.

Kerber became only the second women's defending champion to lose in the US Open first round.

"It's always tough to play against her," the German told the WTA website after her victory.

"I was trying to come out here and really focus on every single point and make it better than last time... she's a great player, great, talented player and tough opponent. For sure she will have great success in the future."

Kerber plays either American qualifier Madison Brengle or Russia's Daria Kasatkina in the next round.

The 19-year-old Osaka, born of a Haitian father and a Japanese mother, lost to Dane Caroline Wozniacki in the final of last year's tournament.

Local favorite Kurumi Nara beat Kazakh Yulia Putintseva 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 in another first-round contest.

"It gives me confidence that I was able to turn it around," said Nara. "Hopefully I can take that spirit into the next match."

Meanwhile, organizers announced that Agnieszka Radwanska, a two-time tournament champion, has pulled out due to a virus. The 11th-ranked Pole was seeded sixth, AFP reported.

Wimbledon champion and new women's world No. 1 Garbine Muguruza heads a strong field in Tokyo featuring several top 10 players, including Karolina Pliskova,  Wozniacki and Johanna Konta.

In Montreal, Canada, Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck claimed her first WTA title in dramatic style on Sunday, rallying from a set down to beat Timea Babos in the Quebec City final.

Van Uytvanck, ranked 98th in the world and seeded seventh, defeated the third-seeded Hungarian 5-7, 6-4, 6-1.

Babos took the tightly-contested first set on her fifth set point, but Van Uytvanck fended off six break points in the first game of the second to slow the Hungarian's momentum.

Three games later Van Uytvanck broke Babos, and it proved enough to level the match.

From there the Belgian powered to a 4-0 lead against Babos, who was denied a third career title.


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