Top seeds Badosa and Garcia ousted at Pan Pacific Open

Getty Images
1 Comment

TOKYO — Top seed Paula Badosa, second seed Caroline Garcia, and Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina were knocked out of the Pan Pacific Open.

Badosa was overwhelmed by Qinwen Zheng, the 19-year-old rapid improver from China, 6-3, 6-2. Qinwen won 10 of the last 12 games, playing fearlessly on Badosa’s serve to break her four times.

“It’s not a surprise, I always knew I had the level, I just had to make it,” Qinwen said after her first completed top-10 win.

Qinwen’s third quarterfinal of the year will be against Claire Liu, who beat Elise Mertens 6-4, 6-1.

Garcia was upset by another Chinese in the second round, Zhang Shuai, who prevailed 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5) in 2 1/2 hours.

Garcia broke Zhang in the opening game and won the set with her 10th ace. But despite serving 27 aces – beating Qinwen’s mark of 21 in a match for best on tour this year – Garcia couldn’t hold her form and Zhang used her speed and precision to take the second set.

Zhang said her many years of playing and training in Japan paid off.

“I was trying to stay calm. I told myself in the tough moments how I never lose on this court so today I will win,” she said. “This is my home tournament so that gave me a lot of motivation. Everything is positive here and that’s why I played really well.”

Rybakina was coming off losing a three-set final in Slovenia last weekend but struggled to find any rhythm against an in-form Liudmila Samsanova, who won their tournament opener 6-2, 6-4.

Samsonova won two tournaments in August and reached the fourth round of the U.S. Open, and was calmly efficient in Tokyo.

“I’m incredibly happy about this match,” she said. “It’s always tough to play Elena. She’s a big champion now so I was prepared for a big fight. Last month was very positive for me. Winning a tournament I have more confidence, but I have to stay focused.”

She faces China’s Xinyu Wang in the second round.

Third-seeded Garbine Muguruza avoided the upsets after a first-round bye by cruising past Greek qualifier Despina Papamichail 6-4, 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals.

Gael Monfils withdraws from French Open with wrist injury

Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

PARIS — A thrilling five-set victory took a toll on Gael Monfils, whose withdrawal from the French Open handed No. 6 Holger Rune a walkover to the third round.

The 36-year-old Frenchman said he has a strained left wrist and can’t continue.

He battled Sebastian Baez for nearly four hours on Court Philippe Chatrier before beating the Argentine 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 in a first-round match that ended at 12:18 a.m. local time.

The victory was Monfils’ first at tour level this year, as the veteran was coming back from heel surgery.

“Actually, physically, I’m quite fine. But I had the problem with my wrist that I cannot solve,” he said. “The doctor say was not good to play with that type of injury. Yesterday was actually very risky, and then today definitely say I should stop.”

Monfils reached the semifinals at the French Open in 2008 and made it to the quarterfinals on three other occasions.

Mikael Ymer fined about $40K after default for hitting umpire stand with racket

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

PARIS — Swedish tennis player Mikael Ymer was docked about $40,000 after being disqualified for smashing his racket against the umpire’s chair at a tournament the week before he competed at the French Open.

An ATP Tour spokesman said Ymer forfeited about $10,500 in prize money and 20 rankings he earned for reaching the second round of the Lyon Open. Ymer also was handed an on-site fine of about $29,000.

The spokesman said the ATP Fines Committee will conduct a review of what happened to determine whether any additional penalties are warranted.

The 56th-ranked Ymer, who is 24 and owns a victory over current No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, was defaulted in Lyon for an outburst late in the first set against French teenager Arthur Fils last week.

Ymer was upset that the chair umpire would not check a ball mark after a shot by Fils landed near a line. As the players went to the sideline for the ensuing changeover, Ymer smacked the base of the umpire’s stand with his racket twice – destroying his equipment and damaging the chair.

That led to Ymer’s disqualification, making Fils the winner of the match.

After his 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 loss to 17th-seeded Lorenzo Musetti in the first round at Roland Garros, Ymer was asked whether he wanted to explain why he reacted the way he did in Lyon.

“With all due respect, I think it’s pretty clear from the video what caused it and why I reacted the way I reacted. Not justifying it at all, of course,” Ymer replied. “But for me to sit here and to explain? I think it’s pretty clear what led me to that place. I think that’s pretty clear in the video.”