Zhang advances, Zheng bounced

China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-31 07:08

PARIS - Zhang Shuai, the highest-ranked Chinese player, came from behind in both sets to defeat Croatia's Donna Vekic 7-5, 6-4 on Monday and advance to the second round of the French Open, while compatriot Zheng Saisai lost 7-5, 6-2 to world No 3 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic.

Zhang, seeded No 32 at Roland Garros, held her serve twice to tie the opening set at two games apiece. Vekic had the first break in the fifth game, and led 5-2 going into the eighth.

In the second set, Vekic came back from 2-1, 40-0 down in the fourth game to win three straight, but again it was Zhang who kicked off another surge by winning four in a row, highlighted by an ace in the ninth game.

She sealed the hard-fought victory on Vekic's double fault.

"I didn't play very well today, despite the win," said Zhang, who set up a second-round clash with Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus, whom she beat at this year's Australian Open. "But I think I'm starting to show some positives, even though I haven't been very consistent over the past several weeks."

Hampered by her taped right knee, Zheng built a 5-4 lead against Pliskova in the opening set but managed only two more wins with limited movement on the clay.

Zheng was good on only 45 percent of her first serves while Pliskova was 69 percent.

"It was difficult to give a 100 percent effort because of my knee injury," Zheng said after the match.

On Sunday, China's Wang Qiang gave Venus Williams a scare before losing 6-4, 7-6 (3) to the American veteran who is making her 20th appearance at Roland Garros.


Zhang advances, Zheng bounced

Zhang Shuai of China serves to Croatia's Donna Vekic during their first-round match at the French Open in Paris on Monday. Michel Euler / Ap

(China Daily 05/31/2017 page24)

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