Top seed Kristina Mladenovic unsuccessfully launched her Hengqin Life WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai campaign on the tournament’s second day, extending her two-digit losing streak, while US Open champion Sloane Stephens also continued to pile up defeats after her surprising Grand Slam triumph.
Owing to her impressive form in the first half of the season, Kristina Mladenovic cracked the Top 10 last month, but the Frenchwoman simply can’t win a match any more and today she suffered her 11th consecutive loss, falling to tenth seed Magdalena Rybarikova on the seventh match point in a third-set tiebreak in the Azalea Group, 7-5 1-6 7-6(5). Looking on the bright side, Mladenovic appreciates that this was for sure the best match she has played in a while. Rybarikova, who won the encounter even though she won four points less than her opponent and had her serve broken seven times, compared to Mladenovic’s six, is now 1-1 in the Azalea Group, after losing to Julia Goerges on Tuesday.
In a rematch of epic US Open quarterfinal this summer and the first Camellia Group match in Zhuhai, fifth seed Anastasija Sevastova avenged her New York defeated with a 7-5 6-3 victory over third seed Sloane Stephens, who has now lost all her three matches following the remarkable triumph at Flushing Meadows. Stephens will get a chance to redeem herself in her second round-robin match on Friday against Barbora Strycova, whom Sevastova faces on Thursday.
Enjoying the conditions in Zhuhai, ninth seed Ashleigh Barty defeated fourth seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 6-4 6-1 in the Rose Group. Pavlyuchenkova, yesterday’s winner over Angelique Kerber, had no chance against Barty’s nine aces and 86% of break points saved.