Zhang stars in Zhuhai, Navarro forced to withdraw

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 Zhang Shuai eases past Timea Bacsinszky at the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai.

Chinese wildcard entry Zhang Shuai opened the WTA Elite Trophy tournament with a 6-1, 6-1 win over sixth-seeded Timea Bacsinzky in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, yesterday.

The tournament features the leading players on the women’s tour who didn’t qualify for the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore last week.

Carla Suarez Navarro withdrew from the tournament with a right wrist injury and was replaced by Hungarian alternate Timea Babos, who will play Bacsinszky today.

Fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina rallied after dropping serve three times in the opening set to beat No. 10-seeded Kiki Bertens 2-6, 6-4, 6-2. Johanna Konta, who is the top-seeded player at the last event on the WTA calendar for 2016, will open against Sam Stosur today.

In France, Gilles Simon rallied to beat Julien Benneteau 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in an all-French match in the first round of the Paris Masters on Monday. In their ninth career meeting dating back to 2007, Simon cracked Benneteau’s resistance in a tense first game of the deciding set and won the next three to go 4-0 up.

Simon next faces 10th-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut, who is one of seven players in Paris vying for the two remaining spots at the season-ending ATP finals in London. Dominic Thiem and Marin Cilic, who won the Swiss Indoors on Sunday, had the last two places heading to Paris.

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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