Pliskova wins twice in a day to reach semifinals
ZHENGZHOU, China — Top-seeded Karolina Pliskova won two hard-fought matches to reach the Zhengzhou Open semifinals on Friday.
Pliskova had to wait 1 ½ days to complete her second round match as she beat Polona Hercog 6-3, 7-5 but not before saving five set points in the second set. Pliskova was trailing 5-2 in the second set when play was suspended on Wednesday. Rain prevented play on Thursday and the organizers had to reschedule matches for Friday.
Pliskova returned to court later Friday to beat sixth-seeded American Sofia Kenin 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 in the quarterfinals.
"To play two matches in a day, it's never easy, but in the first one, I was lucky enough to not go to a third set, just finished quickly and saved some power for the next one," Pliskova said.
"I was serving well today, a lot of aces, which always helps, and there's a lot of positive things for tomorrow."
Pliskova faces Ajla Tomljanovic in Saturday's semifinals after the unseeded Australian defeated local favorite Saisai Zheng 6-1, 6-7 (4), 6-4.
Seventh-seeded Petra Martic of Croatia upset fourth-seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus 7-5, 5-7, 6-4. Martic will meet Kristina Mladenovic in the semifinals after the Frenchwoman defeated second-seeded Elina Svitolina 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in a quarterfinal that finished well beyond midnight local time.
At Central Plains Tennis Center
Purse: $1.5 million (Premier)
Karolina Pliskova (1), Czech Republic, def. Polona Hercog, Slovenia, 6-3, 7-5.
Ajla Tomljanovic, Australia, def. Kiki Bertens (3), Netherlands, 6-4, 7-6 (1).
Zheng Saisai, China, def. Alison Riske, United States, 7-5, 6-3.
Aryna Sabalenka (4), Belarus, def. Jelena Ostapenko, Latvia, 6-1, 6-2.
Elina Svitolina (2), Ukraine, def. Yulia Putintseva, Kazahkstan, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (5).
Karolina Pliskova (1), Czech Republic, def. Sofia Kenin (6), United States, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.
Ajla Tomljanovic, Australia, def. Zheng Saisai, China, 6-1, 6-7 (4), 6-4.
Petra Martic (7), Croatia, def. Aryna Sabalenka (4), Belarus, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4.
Kristina Mladenovic, France, def. Elina Svitolina (2), Ukraine, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
Nicole Melichar, United States, and Kveta Peschke (1), Czech Republic, def. Alicja Rosolska, Poland, and Ajla Tomljanovic, Australia, 2-6, 6-0, 7-5.
Yanina Wickmayer, Belgium, and Tamara Zidansek, Slovenia, def. Monique Adamczak, Australia, and Han Xinyun, China, 6-3, 6-2.
Hibino beats top-seeded Hsieh at Japan Women's Open
HIROSHIMA, Japan — Nao Hibino advanced to the semifinals of the Japan Women's Open by beating top-seeded Hsieh Su-wei 6-4, 6-3 on Friday.
Making her first appearance in the quarterfinals in her seventh consecutive appearance at the event, Hibino broke her opponent's serve five times, hitting 25 winners to 27 unforced errors.
The 24-year-old Japanese player saved both break points she faced in the final game of the first set.
Also, Misaki Doi defeated seventh-seeded Sara Sorribes Tormo 7-5, 6-1.
WTA Japan Women's Open
At Hiroshima Regional Park Tennis Court
Purse: $226.750 (Intl.)
Nao Hibino, Japan, def. Hsieh Su-wei (1), Taiwan, 6-4, 6-3.
Misaki Doi, Japan, def. Sara Sorribes Tormo (7), Spain, 7-5, 6-1.
Mihaela Buzarnescu, Romania, def. Alison Van Uytvanck (3), Belgium, 6-4, 7-5.
Veronika Kudermetova (2), Russia, def. Laura Siegemund (8), Germany, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.
Misaki Doi and Nao Hibino, Japan, def. Ysaline Bonaventure and Greet Minnen, Belgium, walkover.
Christina McHale, United States, and Valeria Savinykh, Russia, def. Haruka Kaji and Junri Namigata, Japan, 6-4, 6-1.
Misaki Doi and Nao Hibino, Japan, def. Miyu Kato, Japan, and Storm Sanders, Australia, 6-3, 6-4.
WTA Jiangxi Open
At Nanchang International Tennis Center
Purse: $226,750 (Intl.)
Nina Stojanovic, Serbia, def. Kateryna Kozlova (7), Ukraine, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4.
Peng Shuai, China, def. Zhu Lin, China, 6-4, 7-6 (5).
Rebecca Peterson (5), Sweden, def. Magda Linette (3), Poland, 6-3, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (5).
Elena Rybakina (4), Kazakhstan, def. Viktorija Golubic (6), Switzerland, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.
Peng Shuai and Zhang Shuai (2), China, def. Ankita Raina, India, and Eden Silva, Britain, 6-2, 6-7 (8), 10-3.
Wang Xinyu and Zhu Lin, China, def. Dalila Jakupovic, Slovenia, and Jessica Moore (3), Australia, 6-2, 4-6, 10-7.
ATP says top players set for ATP Cup in Australia in January
SYDNEY — The ATP says all top 10-ranked players, including Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, have committed to play in the inaugural ATP Cup in Australia in January.
It said Saturday that the top 18-ranked countries and Australia, as the host-country wild card, will be among the qualifiers for the tournament to be held in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney from Jan. 3-12. Serbia leads the current rankings, with Spain second, Switzerland third and Russia fourth.
The ATP said the top two players for each country have committed to play, subject to change based on the ATP Rankings at the second entry deadline on Nov. 13, when remaining team members — up to an additional three players — will qualify.
Five additional countries will also qualify to compete at the 24-country tournament based on the ranking of their No.1 singles player.
Countries will be drawn into one of six groups on Monday when the official draw is held at the Sydney Opera House.
The group stages of the ATP Cup will be hosted in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney over six days. Eight countries will then play at the ATP Cup Final Eight in Sydney that will feature quarterfinals over two days, semifinals and a final. Each match will be two singles and one doubles.
Organizers postpone Hong Kong WTA event due to protests
HONG KONG — The Hong Kong Open tennis tournament was postponed indefinitely Friday because of widespread protests in the region.
The tournament had been scheduled to be held from Oct. 5-13 on outdoor hard courts at Victoria Park. Tournament organizers said the event would be put back "in light of the present situation" but did not give a new date.
A summer of protest has rocked the region, led by campaigns against a proposed extradition law which would allow Hong Kong suspects to be sent to China for trial.
"In light of the present situation, Hong Kong Tennis Association and the WTA are announcing a postponement of the 2019 Hong Kong Tennis Open," organizers said in a statement. "We strive to maintain a high standard of the event for all participants, players and the fans in particular.
"However, after extensive discussions with our key stakeholders, we conclude that a smooth running of the tournament can be better assured at a later time."
The packed tennis calendar could make that impossible.
If the tournament is delayed by more than a week, it would clash with two end-of-season events, the Elite Trophy and WTA Finals. Shortly after that comes the Fed Cup final between France and Australia.