Tennis: Kvitova overcomes Peng, Wozniacki crashes in China

Petra Kvitova of Czekh returns a shot to Shuai Peng of China during their women's singles second round match at the China Open tennis tournament in the National Tennis Center of Beijing on Oct 1, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Petra Kvitova of Czekh returns a shot to Shuai Peng of China during their women's singles second round match at the China Open tennis tournament in the National Tennis Center of Beijing on Oct 1, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (AFP) - World No. 3 Petra Kvitova opened her campaign to win a second consecutive tennis tournament in commanding style on Wednesday, while Caroline Wozniacki crashed out of the US$5.4 million (S$6.9 million) China Open in straight sets.

The Czech defeated home-crowd favourite Peng Shuai 6-4, 6-2 in her first match since her victory at the Wuhan Open last Saturday, advancing in Beijing with the same confidence she showed at the earlier tournament.

Peng, who made the semi-finals at the US Open last month, took a 2-0 lead before the Wimbledon champion stormed back, winning 12 of the next 16 games and wrapping up the match in just 66 minutes.

Peng throughout the match had difficulty dealing with her left-handed opponent's powerful serves.

"Some of the players, they didn't really get used to left-handers' serves," Kvitova said. "So I think that's my advantage," she said, adding that "the serve helped me a lot".

She will now meet 16th seed Venus Williams for a tricky third-round match.

The third seed in Beijing has enjoyed a return to consistency in China after a poor run in the North American swing.

She won her second tournament of the year at New Haven, but crashed out of the US Open in the third round to 145th-ranked Serbian qualifier Aleksandra Krunic.

Kvitova then lost to Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, her quarter-final opponent in Wuhan, in her opening match in Cincinnati.

With her victory in Wuhan, the 24-year-old confirmed her place at the WTA Finals in Singapore, the end-of-season finale involving the world's top eight women players. Those who have already made it to the tournament include world No. 1 Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova (4) and Simona Halep (2).

World No. 7 Wozniacki was hoping to confirm her place at the tournament with a deep run in Beijing, but crashed out in her first match at the hands of Samantha Stosur.

Stosur, the 2011 US Open winner, has had a miserable run in China lately, falling at the Guangzhou Open and in Wuhan in her opening matches.

But the world No. 20 was the more composed as the two players battled in a tense second-set tie break, saving five set points against her Danish opponent as she wrapped up her 6-4, 7-6 (11-9) victory.

The China Open is being held at the Olympic Park in the Chinese capital and will reach its climax on Oct 5.