Garbine Muguruza reached the third round of the China Open tennis tournament by beating Yulia Putintseva 6-2 7-6 (5) on Monday, despite the No.2-seed Muguruza playing with strapping on her shoulder.
Spain’s French Open winner was joined in the next round by Kazakh Yaroslava Shvedova, who added to the recent injury comeback misery of Belinda Bencic as she eliminated the teenaged Swiss 6-4 7-6 (4)
In the opening round in the Chinese capital, top-seeded Angelique Kerber began with a defeat of Czech Katerina Siniakova 6-4 6-4.
The German is trying to steady her game in the closing weeks of the season after winning the US Open and taking over the world No.1 ranking. She lost last week in Wuhan against eventual champion Petra Kvitova.
“She played really well, especially in the first set,” Kerber said.
“I was trying to be patient and waiting for my shots and for my chances, just trying to move her a lot and only going for it when the chance came.
“I know that I can still improve, but I think this is also one of the keys why I’m playing so well and so consistent, because it’s really important to have your mind on the court and thinking about the match right now.”
China’s world No.233 Peng Shuai scored the upset of the week, eliminating sixth seed Venus Williams 7-5 6-1. Czech fifth seed Karolina Pliskova, the US Open finalist against Kerber, beat Lucie Safarova, 6-7 (9) 6-1 6-4.
Swiss 12th seed Timea Bacsinszky stormed back after losing the opening set to post a defeat of Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena 4-6 6-4 6-1. The 16th-seeded Elina Svitolina beat German Tatjana Maria 6-2 6-2 and Barbora Strycova got the better of Germany’s Laura Siegemund 5-7 7-5 7-5.