The lowest seed in action on Tuesday at the China Open, hot-handed No. 14 Petra Kvitova topped Chinese qualifier Wang Yafan 6-4, 6-1 to set up a blockbuster meeting with defending champ Garbine Muguruza.
“I think I still do have motivation,” said the Wuhan champ Kvitova, trying to qualify for the WTA year-end championship. “I think it was a great week in Wuhan. I think that gave me more motivation and confidence, which I really needed before. I’m not really struggling with motivation here.”
Kvitova entered the match with taped fingers, not from blisters, but reportedly from a nail session gone wrong.
“Never do gel,” Kvitova told the media with a laugh.
“For sure will be great match,” said Kvitova of meeting Muguruza. “I think it will be great battle again. I know how we fight in Stuttgart. It was a great match over there. I know how dangerous she is. I mean, she’s really playing aggressive from both sides and she’s serving real well and returning as well. That’s why I think I really need to be ready from the first shot which I’m playing.”
Other seeded winners were No. 4 Simona Halep beating Yanina Wickmayer 6-2, 6-2, and No. 9 Svetlana Kuznetsova defeating Japan’s Misaki Doi 6-1, 7-5.
Upset-minded were unseeded former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki ousting No. 13 Roberta Vinci 6-3, 6-2, and Frenchwoman Alize Cornet outlasting No. 10 Dominika Cibulkova 6-2, 5-7, 6-2.
On the men’s side German riser Alexander Zverev had the upset of the day, downing No. 4 seed Dominic Thiem 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.
Seeded winners on the day were No. 1 Andy Murray downing Andreas Seppi 6-2, 7-5, No. 2 Rafael Nadal rolling Paolo Lorenzi 6-1, 6-1, and No. 3 Milos Ranic defeated unseeded German Florian Mayer 6-4, 7-6(1).
“I feel like I’m able to get a lot of chances when he’s serving, give myself a lot of opportunities to break,” said Murray of Seppi. “He’s got very good timing, hits the ball very clean off both sides. I try to use some variety and not let him get into a rhythm. That’s worked well for me.”
Nadal is hoping to improve on his eighth place standing for the race to the year-end championships.
“Today is an important victory,” Nadal said. “There are points to try to qualify for the world tour finals.”
A slew of unseeded Americans are in the Wednesday mix as Sam Querrey meets No. 8 Richard Gasquet, Steve Johnson faces Grigor Dimitrov, and Jack Sock faces Zverev. Other matches include (1) Murray vs. Kuznetsov, and Fognini vs. (5) Ferrer.
On the women’s side highlights are world No. 1 Angie Kerber facing Czech Barbora Strycova, (2) Muguruza vs. (14) Kvitova, and (8) Madison Keys vs. (9) Kuznetsova.
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