A banner day for house gamers on the Hana Financial institution Korea Open noticed two unheralded South Koreans knock out each of the Grand Slam champions in the primary draw within the first spherical. Wild card Again Dayeon got here from 5-2 down within the third set, saving one match level, to edge No.2 seed Jelena Ostapenko 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(4) in 2 hours and 13 minutes. Earlier, Jang Su-Jeong had dismissed No.5 seed Sofia Kenin 6-1, 6-4 in 1 hour and 31 minutes.
It was the primary time two South Koreans had gained their openers in Seoul since 2013, when Jang defeated Klara Koukalova and Ons Jabeur to achieve the quarterfinals as an 18-year-old, and Lee Ye-Ra bested Daria Saville within the first spherical.
Highlights: Jang d. Kenin
Jang’s upset of Kenin was her first High 50 victory since her win over Koukalova, and the primary time she had crushed a High 30 opponent in her profession. However it was not the primary time she had come out on prime in opposition to Kenin, having triumphed 7-6(6), 6-3 of their sole earlier assembly within the first spherical of the 2018 Newport Seashore WTA 125 occasion.
Demonstrating sturdy counterpunching abilities and deft contact on the drop shot, No.162-ranked Jang was not often threatened by the previous Australian Open champion. The lately resurgent Kenin was unable to seek out the consistency that had taken her to the San Diego closing and Guadalajara semifinals final month.
No.569-ranked Again had made her WTA main-draw debut by qualifying for Seoul in 2022, and entered the event on a scorching streak at ITF degree. The previous High 50 junior has gained 22 of her earlier 26 matches coming into Seoul, together with two ITF W15 titles and an extra two finals. Nonetheless, Again had by no means beforehand confronted a High 200 opponent, and Ostapenko’s expertise confirmed as she powered by way of the primary set.
Again’s inside-out forehand had been a powerful weapon within the opener, however shifting her ways in the direction of slice-heavy protection enabled her to show the match round. Pressured into prolonged rallies, Ostapenko’s errors started to mount, and the Latvian’s closing tally of 68 unforced errors outweighed her 43 winners.
Ostapenko, the 2017 champion and 2022 runner-up in Seoul, appeared to have regained her grip on the match as she rattled by way of 4 straight video games from a break down within the decider to guide 5-2. Again was capable of reel her in, although, saving a match level at 5-4 with a forehand go.
For a second straight yr, Ostapenko discovered herself in a third-set tiebreak with a South Korean wild card ranked beneath 500. However whereas she had survived Jeong Boyoung 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(2) within the 2022 first spherical, she could not pull off an analogous escape in opposition to Again. Dealing with match level, an Ostapenko backhand sailed lengthy to provide the house participant a career-best victory.
Again will subsequent face Kimberly Birrell, who superior 6-4, 6-4 previous qualifier Sachia Vickery. Jang can have the chance to return to the quarterfinals a decade on in opposition to Emina Bektas, who saved one match level to beat Laura Pigossi 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-5 in 3 hours and eight minutes.
Highlights: Pegula d. Hruncakova | Lys d. Schmiedlova | Bektas d. Pigossi
No.1 seed Jessica Pegula escaped the rash of upsets, defeating Viktoria Hruncakova 6-2, 6-4. Pegula raced out of the blocks, dropping simply 5 factors within the first 5 video games. Although No.112-ranked Hruncakova was capable of ship intermittently breathtaking energy, the Slovak was unable to seek out the consistency to bother Pegula. The World No.4 will subsequent face 19-year-old Ashlyn Krueger, the recently-crowned Osaka champion, in an all-American second spherical.
- Again upsets Ostapenko, Jang knocks out Kenin in Seoul
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