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Quick exit aside, Wang pleased with Wuhan run

By China Daily | China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-28 07:24

Quick exit aside, Wang pleased with Wuhan run

China's Wang Qiang waves to fans after losing her third-round match to Czech third seed Karolina Pliskova at the Wuhan Open on Wednesday. [Photo/Xinhua]

Wang Qiang's surprising run into the third round of the Wuhan Open has boosted her confidence for future challenges against the world's best tennis players.

Wang, the world No 55, was knocked out of the tournament in just 48 minutes on Wednesday, losing 6-2, 6-1 to former world No 1 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic.

But the 25-year-old still made history by becoming the first Chinese player to advance to the third round in the showcase event, which is in its fourth year.

"My physical condition was not so good," Wang said after the match. "I had to play doubles after beating (Sloane) Stephens in the first round, but I quit because my body was hurting. That affected me a lot. I could not even move in the locker room after the doubles."

Wang's stunning victory over US Open champ Stephens sent shockwaves. She then beat Sorana Cirstea in the second round.

"This is my second Wuhan Open," Wang said. "Beating Stephens means a lot to me because she is the US Open champion. I was more confident after that first match.

"Although I did not beat any top-10 players this year, I defeated some who are in the top 20, so I'm even more confident now.

"Before I came to Wuhan, I didn't think too much about it. I just tried my best. I've been working with my coach for two years. We cooperate better and better. I used to focus on defense, but I changed to attack more. That made me play better."

Apart from Stephens, Tianjin native Wang has beaten top-20 players Elena Vesnina and Kristina Mladenovic this year.

Stephens said she could not take anything away from her Chinese opponent.

"She was very focused and played a great match," said the American.

Wang will get a wild card invitation to the upcoming China Open in Beijing, which means she only has a few days to rest.

She said life returns to normal between competitions and that she just tries to stay relaxed in order to prepare for the next tournament.

"After a match I'm just like normal people," said Wang. "I'm not special. Watching shows, playing video games and ordering takeout food are my favorite activities."

Pliskova, who defeated Chinese No 2 Shuai Zhang in three tough sets in the second round, has won nine singles and five doubles titles on the WTA tour, as well as 10 singles and six doubles titles on the ITF circuit in her career.

She reached her first Grand Slam final at the 2016 US Open.

"I felt great today; I think it was the perfect match from the very first point," Pliskova beamed on court after Wednesday's win.

"I'm really happy."

 

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