No trouble for Kerber at HK Open

HONG KONG • Women's world No. 1 Angelique Kerber quickly dispatched American Louisa Chirico 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 at the Hong Kong Open yesterday, to complete her rain-delayed second-round match .

The German was leading Chirico 2-1 in the third set when the match was halted on Wednesday due to wet weather.

Yesterday, there were also wins for Caroline Wozniacki, who beat Heather Watson 6-3, 6-3 and Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who triumphed over Caroline Garcia 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.

However, second-seeded Venus Williams was defeated by Alize Cornet 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, while third-seeded Johanna Konta withdrew with an abdominal strain, which has dented the Briton's hopes of playing at the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore later this month.

"I was really looking forward to making this week last as long as possible. It wasn't as long as I would have liked, but I need to look after my body first," the world No. 9 said. "I need to make sure I make the right decisions for my health."

The top eight players in the Road to Singapore rankings earn a spot at the WTA Finals, and Konta occupies the final position heading into the Hong Kong Open.

The 25-year-old is just 10 ranking points ahead of Dominika Cibulkova, who will move ahead of Konta if she reaches the final of the Linz Open in Austria.

Konta's performance in Beijing last week saw her complete a remarkable rise into the world's top 10, the first British woman to achieve the feat since 1984.

She now faces an anxious wait to discover if she can maintain her position in the top eight and earn a place at the season finale.

REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 14, 2016, with the headline 'No trouble for Kerber at HK Open'. Print Edition | Subscribe