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AFP
October 14, 2018

Wang downs Svitolina, Muguruza on same day

Sports

AFP
October 14, 2018

HONG KONG: China’a number one Wang Qiang staged an outstanding comeback Saturday to defeat former Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 7-5 and reach her first Hong Kong Open tennis tournament final.

The world number 24 had already seen off Elina Svitolina just hours earlier in a rain-delayed quarter final — Wang’s highest-ranked top 10 scalp this year — despite admitting she had been shaking with nerves ahead of the restarted match.

Wang now faces unheralded Dayana Yastremska in Sunday’s final, after the Ukrainian teenager dumped out China’s number two Zhang Shuai in the earlier semi-final.

In a see-saw contest strewn with jaw-dropping rallies and breaks of serve, Wang, 26, saved three consecutive set points in the first set tie-break before eventually succumbing 5-7.

She then recovered in dramatic style, coming down from 0-40 down at 5-4 to clinch the second set.

Down 0-3 in the third set, Wang admitted she was thinking of going home before a pep talk from her coach stiffened her resolve.

“I had nothing to lose against her — she’s a very good player,” Wang said. “I just tried to be more patient and if I had a chance then to go for it.”

She then clawed her way back from a 1-4 deficit, with Muguruza — appearing exhausted and out of ideas by the end of the match — losing her final service game with two unforced errors.

The sixth seed sealed the titanic win with an ace.

A disconsolate Muguruza paid tribute to her opponent. “I think she played very well especially in the important moments, she came back in the third set playing incredible tennis,” the Spanish world number 13 and fourth seed said.

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