Elina Svitolina

Getty Images

Svitolina advances to second round at Hong Kong

Leave a comment

HONG KONG — Top-seeded Elina Svitolina kept alive her chances of reaching the WTA Finals in Singapore by beating Australian wild card Priscilla Hon at the Hong Kong Open on Tuesday.

Fourth-seeded Garbine Muguruza gave herself a belated birthday present by defeated Spanish compatriot Sara Sorribes Tormo.

The 13th-ranked Muguruza, who turned 25 on Monday, has struggled since reaching the French Open semifinals in June. Two weeks ago at Wuhan was the first time since the French Open that she played three matches at a tournament.

The seventh-seeded Daria Gavrilova, a Hong Kong finalist last year, got past Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan.

Japanese qualifier Nao Habino defeated Australia’s Samantha Stosur.

Garcia advances to semifinals at WTA Finals

AP Photo
Leave a comment

SINGAPORE — Caroline Garcia advanced to the semifinals at the WTA Finals on Friday when top-ranked Simona Halep was beaten by Elina Svitolina.

Garcia defeated Caroline Wozniacki 0-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the early Red Group match, giving both 2-1 records. Wozniacki had already advanced, but Garcia had to wait. When Svitolina beat Halep 6-3, 6-4 later in the day, the top-ranked Romanian was eliminated and Garcia was through as the group winner.

In the semifinals, Garcia will play Venus Williams and Wozniacki will face Karolina Pliskova.

Garcia, playing at a career-high No. 8 ranking after winning back-to-back titles in Wuhan and Beijing, is the only one of the eight-players who didn’t have a chance to end the season with the top ranking.

“It was kind of weird, actually, to be here,” Garcia said. “I qualified last minute, two weeks before. I really wanted to keep improving, play every single match and get experience.

“That’s why I think I won these (last) two matches.”

Despite not reaching the semifinals, Halep will retain the No. 1 ranking unless Pliskova wins the title, which would make her the year-end No. 1.

“This system (round-robin) I don’t like,” Halep said. “You stay like stressed all week. If you lose, of course, you have another chance. I just want it to be if you lose you go home.”

Svitolina defeats Wozniacki for Rogers Cup title

AP Photo
Leave a comment

TORONTO — Elina Svitolina defeated Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-0 to win the Rogers Cup women’s tennis tournament on Sunday.

It was Svitolina’s fifth WTA Tour title of the season.

The 22-year-old Ukrainian used powerful groundstrokes and a big serve to keep the sixth-ranked Wozniacki off balance.

A break at love at 4-4 gave the fifth-ranked Svitolina the edge in the first set. She wasn’t threatened again in the 77-minute match.

Svitolina had a clear edge from the baseline thanks to her impressive retrieving ability. Wozniacki was forced to go for more winners and started making more unforced errors as a result.

Wozniacki, a 27-year-old former world No. 1 from Denmark, varied her shots throughout the match, combining power with more looping topspin returns.

Svitolina wasn’t fazed as her consistency and power game proved to be too much.

It was Svitolina’s fourth victory over a top-10 opponent this week and third win in two days.

She beat ninth-ranked Venus Williams in the third round, topped No. 4 Garbine Muguruza in a rain-delayed quarterfinal Saturday morning and downed No. 2 Simona Halep on Saturday night.

It was Svitolina’s third Premier 5 title of the year.

Svitolina has reached five finals this year and won them all. Wozniacki fell to 0-6 in final appearances this season and is 0-3 in head-to-head matches against Svitolina.

Svitolina will move one spot to a career-high No. 4 when the new rankings are released Monday.

The women’s doubles final was scheduled for later Sunday.

Top-seeded Russians Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina were to meet eighth-seeded Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany and Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic.