Chi­nese star Wang’s Wuhan Open run ends in heart­break

Global Times - Weekend - - SPORTS -

Ris­ing star Wang Qiang’s dream run at the Wuhan Open in China ended in heart­break on Fri­day as an in­jury forced her to re­tire from the semi­fi­nal, with Anett Kon­taveit lead­ing 6-2, 2-1.

Roared on by ador­ing home fans, Wang – top-ranked in China – had al­ready made history by be­com­ing the first lo­cal player to reach the quar­ter­fi­nals of the tour­na­ment with an im­pres­sive march to the last four that in­cluded an up­set of world No.7 Karolina Pliskova.

Wang won the first two games of the match but the clin­i­cal Kon­taveit won the next six games in a row to take the first set.

The 34th-ranked Wang was mov­ing gin­gerly be­fore the fi­nal game of the first set, and got some on-court treat­ment on her legs be­fore play re­sumed.

But the home fa­vorite, ap­pear­ing to hold back tears be­tween points, played only three games in the sec­ond set be­fore sig­nal­ing to the um­pire that she had to re­tire.

“I wanted to hold on, game af­ter game, hop­ing for a mir­a­cle,” Wang said.

“But my body did not give me that mir­a­cle. It’s a pity that I couldn’t con­tinue.”

Her exit means the first fi­nal of 2018 for the 22-year-old Kon­taveit, who will be look­ing to win her sec­ond WTA ti­tle af­ter en­joy­ing a break­out sea­son in 2017.

“I’m so sorry that it had to end this way and I feel so bad for [Wang],” said the Es­to­nian, who is cur­rently 27th in the WTA rank­ings.

Kon­taveit, who knocked out world No.9 and 2017 US Open cham­pion Sloane Stephens in the first round, is aiming to fin­ish the sea­son strongly.

“From the be­gin­ning of the sea­son, the goal has been top 20 for this year,” she said. “It’s my first fi­nal this year... it’s re­ally ex­cit­ing.”

Win­ning the Wuhan Open on Satur­day could help achieve that top-20 re­sult, with the tour­na­ment vic­tor re­ceiv­ing 900 rank­ing points.

Photo: VCG

China’s Wang Qiang cries dur­ing her sin­gles semi­fi­nal match against Anett Kon­taveit of Es­to­nia at the Wuhan Open on Fri­day.

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