Svitolina takes out a second top-ranked player this year

Elina Svitolina of Ukraine celebrates after winning against Angelique Kerber of Germany in their women's singles third round match of the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing on Oct 6, 2016.
Elina Svitolina of Ukraine celebrates after winning against Angelique Kerber of Germany in their women's singles third round match of the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing on Oct 6, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING • Ukrainian Elina Svitolina scored her second win this year over a world No. 1, ousting Angelique Kerber in the China Open round of 16 in Beijing yesterday.

Nineteenth-ranked Svitolina took just two sets to beat newly crowned No. 1 Kerber - who ascended to the top spot at the US Open, the same week she also claimed her second Grand Slam crown - with a 6-3, 7-5 win.

The 22-year-old left Serena Williams in tears in Rio in August, denying the 22-time Grand Slam champion a fifth Olympic gold medal with a straight-set win.

"When they announce (the names at the start of the march) you have this weird feeling because you realise you're playing against world No. 1", Svitolina said after the match. "I try to really don't think about it. If I think too much, I lose my way," she added.

Kerber, who had her right thigh taped during the match, had a break lead in each set but appeared glued to the baseline and was unable to take control.


Elina Svitolina returning to top-ranked German Angelique Kerber in their China Open third-round match in Beijing. The Ukrainian won 6-3, 7-5. She had beaten the previous world No. 1, Serena Williams, also in the round of 16 at the Rio Olympics. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

"I know that I have to move very well when I play my game, and I couldn't play my game like I play," she told reporters. The German still plans to play in Hong Kong next week as she chases points to end the year at No. 1 - but her right leg may alter her plans.

"Still it's in my schedule to play Hong Kong. It's right after the match, so I don't know exactly with my leg or whatever. But it's still in my schedule," she said.

Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland secured her second consecutive win over former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki to reach the quarter-finals yesterday.

The pair have met three times in as many weeks, with Wozniacki coming out on top in the first encounter in Tokyo. The Dane went on to bag the title in the Japanese capital, but Radwanska ended her seven-match winning streak at last week's Wuhan Open by ousting her good friend in the round of 16.

The third-ranked Pole booked her Beijing quarter-final spot on the third match point with an impressive run to the net to return a drop shot from the Dane. Wozniacki lobbed the return, but she made it to that one to take the match 6-3, 6-1.

"I knew nothing's going to come for free. I was really trying to be aggressive from the first point and also from the return," Radwanska told reporters.

In another match yesterday, Simona Halep of Romania fell 0-6, 3-6 to Zhang Shuai in exactly an hour. The Chinese had also previously upset Halep in the first round of the Australian Open in January.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 07, 2016, with the headline 'Svitolina takes out a second top-ranked player this year'. Print Edition | Subscribe