BEIJING — Elina Svitolina has beaten a No. 1-ranked player for the second time this season, ousting U.S. Open champion Angelique Kerber from the China Open 6-3, 7-5 on Thursday to reach the quarterfinals.
The 16th-seeded Svitolina beat long-time top-ranked player Serena Williams at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and now has beaten the player who replaced her at No. 1.
Kerber, who had strapping on her upper right leg, was on a run of 22 wins from 26 matches on the tour. The German had a break to lead in both sets but Svitolina produced four breaks of serve to keep control and set up a quarterfinal match against Daria Gavrilova, who beat Caroline Garcia 6-4, 6-3.
In other third-round matches, third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska beat Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-1 and No. 11 Johanna Konta defeated U.S. Open finalist Karolina Pliskova 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (2).
Fresh from a run to the U.S. Open semifinals, Wozniacki beat Radwanska on the way to winning the title at the Pan-Pacific Open in Tokyo. But Radwanska won in back-to-back weeks in China, at Wuhan and now in Beijing.
The 2015 WTA Finals champion from Poland raced to a 5-1 lead in the first set. She saved two break points in the last game before serving out the match.
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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Two-time major winner Svetlana Kuznetsova has withdrawn from next month’s Australian Open after having surgery on her left wrist.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.