Unseasonal rain disrupts play at the 2016 Shenzhen Open

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Copyright © 2016. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.

Shenzhen Open Tennis News

Although unseasonal rain disrupted play at the 2016 Shenzhen Open, all was not lost — by moving the concluding round of qualifiers indoors, the tournament was still able to finalize the singles main draw despite the perniciously misting grey skies. Should the rain continue this week, the main draw matches may also follow suit and move indoors.

To the delight of local fans who lined the indoor court, China’s ZHANG Kai-lin upended the higher-ranked Stefanie Voegele (SUI), who bore a taped upper right thigh, 6-3, 7-6(4). Zhang, after building an early lead to take the first set, did not falter in the second even when Voegele pushed her to a breaker. Zhang will need to recover quickly as she will return to the court to face a formidable first-round opponent, seventh seed Zarina Diyas (KAZ).

Tereza Smitkova (CZE), a 2015 quarterfinalist in Shenzhen, had to work her way through the qualifiers this year, defeating a tenacious Patricia Maria Tig (ROU) in three sets to seal her place in the main draw. Smitkova broke early, leading 4-1 and 5-2, but grew visibly irritated as Tig managed to shift the momentum and force a breaker. Tig then broke, consolidated and repeated an early break in the second to establish a 5-1 lead before leveling the match 6-3. The players proceeded on serve in the third until Tig, serving 3-4, surrendered a loose groundstroke to give Smitkova the break. Smitkova held easily as she served for the match, which she sealed with a demoralizing dropshot, 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-3. In the first round she will face fellow qualifier Nicole Gibbs (USA), who handily defeated Maria-Teresa Torró-Flor (ESP) 6-1, 6-3 to earn her berth in the main draw.

Top-seeded qualifier Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) also defeated Cagla Buyukakcay (TUR) in straight sets 6-3, 7-5 to set up her first-round match against Anett Kontaveit (EST).

There was one main draw match contested indoors on the first day of play at the 2016 Shenzhen Open — a doubles showdown between Irina Khromacheva (RUS) and Lidziya Marozava (BLR) and Varatchaya Wongteanchai (THA) and YANG Zhaoxuan (CHN). Khromacheva and Marozava dominated the first set 6-0, active at the net, aggressively crossing to break up crosscourt baseline play, not at all shy about punishing the opposing net person. After Wongteanchai and Yang settled in and began to place their shots with better precision, errors and escalating frustration crept into the Russian-speaking duo’s game.  After trailing for most of the second set, Khromacheva and Marozava finally steadied to turn the set around to go up a break 5-4 and serve for the match, which they closed with emphatic bellows and fist pumps.

Local fans will recognize many familiar names on Monday with one player from Chinese Taipei and six mainland Chinese players taking the court. Notably, PENG Shuai (the 2014 singles finalist in Shenzhen) will finish out the center court billing with doubles partner LIANG Chen, facing wildcard team LI Yixuan and SHENG Yuqi. In singles, the third, fourth, seventh and eighth seeds will all begin their 2016 campaigns, each seeking to win her first match of the year.



On Monday January 4, play will start at 11am on all three courts, with the next match to follow after each one concludes.



S. Hsieh (TPE) vs [WC] Y. Duan (CHN)

[3] I. Begu (ROU) vs L. Arruabarrena (ESP)

[Q] K. Zhang (CHN) vs [7] Z. Diyas (KAZ)

C.Liang (CHN) / S. Peng (CHN) vs [WC] Y. Li (CHN) / Y. Sheng (CHN)



[8] A. Beck (GER) vs A. Riske (USA)

A. Sevastova (LAT) vs [4] M. Niculescu (ROU)

A. Mitu (ROU) vs K. Siniakova (CZE)

V. King (USA) / M. Niculescu (ROU) vs [2] C. Chuang (TPE) / O. Kalashnikova (GEO)



E. Rodina (RUS) vs T. Babos (HUN)

B. Jovanovski (SRB) vs A. Friedsam (GER)

N. Gibbs (USA) / A. Riske (USA) vs C. Chan (TPE) / K. Takahata (JPN)

Copyright © 2016. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.