World number 1 still alive
The clash of the women's singles of these eighth finals took place on court number 2 from the beginning of the matches. The Japanese world number 1 Akane YAMAGUCHI was opposed to WANG Zhi Yi who is ranked 10th in the hierarchy. In direct confrontations, the Chinese player leads 3/2 even if it is the double Japanese World Champion who had the last word last week in Denmark.
The first one in one way, the second one in the other way...
Faster, sharper, more maneuvering, the Chinese number 3 took control of the first set: 21/14. Nevertheless, the title holder came back on the court with different intentions. Was it the coaching at the break at the end of the first set or the time to acclimatize to her opponent's level ? It doesn’t matter, she literally overpowered her, inflicting a 21/6.
... but the last word for YAMAGUCHI
One would have thought that with such a second set, the third would be a formality for the best player in the world, especially since WANG seemed to be physically affected by a lumbar strain. But the Chinese player had no idea of her renewed energy: 11/9. Was the back pain too much ? The fact is that it was the French Open title holder who came back at the end of the match to win 14/21 21/6 21/16.
In the mixed zone, WANG did not hide behind her injury to explain the defeat : "I had a relapse of my injury at the end of the third game. It disturbed my game, but that's not the main reason why I lost. (...) I should have accelerated the game much more often. I will know for the next times (...) I will try to recover from my injuries for the next matches". We hope to see her back on the circuit as soon as possible. In the meantime, YAMAGUCHI will play her quarterfinal tomorrow against Lalinrat CHAIWAN (n°19, Thailand), surprise winner of Nozomi OKUHARA (n°12, Japan) and seeded 6th.