BEIJING — Peng Shuai produced the upset of the first round in the China Open on Monday, beating sixth-seeded Venus Williams 7-5, 6-1.
The 30-year-old Chinese wild-card entry broke Williams’ serve twice in the second set.
In other matches, top-ranked Angelique Kerber defeated Katerina Siniakova 6-4, 6-4, No. 16 Elina Svitolina beat Tatjana Maria 6-2, 6-2, Daria Gavrilova beat Christina McHale 6-4, 6-4, and fifth-seeded Karolina Pliskova eliminated Lucie Safarova 6-7 (7), 6-1, 6-4.
Defending champion Garbine Muguruza, the French Open champion who is seeded second, beat Yulia Putintseva 6-2, 7-6 (5) in the second round.
“I’m very happy I could close the match in the tiebreak because obviously it was getting tougher and tougher,” Muguruza said. “Tiebreaks are moments where it’s delicate. You feel a bit more nervous and more tense.”
In the men’s first round, fifth-seeded David Ferrer beat Pablo Cuevas 6-4, 7-6 (3) and No. 7 Roberto Bautista Agut defeated Australian qualifier John Millman 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
LONDON — Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza have won the International Tennis Federation’s player of the year awards.
At 31, Nadal becomes the oldest ITF men’s world champion after a season in which he won a 10th French Open and a third U.S. Open.
The Spaniard also became the oldest player to finish the year at No. 1 since the ATP rankings began in 1973.
Muguruza dropped only one set en route to her first Wimbledon title and finished the year at No. 2 behind Simona Halep.
“Becoming ITF world champion in such a competitive year is amazing for me,” said Muguruza, who is also Spanish. “(Nadal) is a great role model for all of us, so it is a great moment for tennis in Spain.”
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Two-time major winner Svetlana Kuznetsova has withdrawn from next month’s Australian Open after having surgery on her left wrist.
Tennis Australia on Friday said No. 12-ranked Kuznetsova and China’s Sasai Zheng, with a right knee injury, were the only players ranked in the top 100 who are confirmed as not playing the Jan. 15-28 tournament at Melbourne Park.
Serena Williams, who was pregnant while winning the 2017 Australian Open title and gave birth to her first child in September, “is anticipated to return,” Tennis Australia said.
Williams could equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles with another win at Melbourne Park. Serena Williams’ ranking has dropped to No. 22 during her break from the tour.