BEIJING (AP) — Second-ranked Iga Swiatek won the China Open final with a near-perfect 6-2, 6-2 victory over Liudmila Samsonova on Sunday, for her tour-leading fifth title of the season.
Swiatek’s triumph, in her first visit to China, was her 16th career title and adds to her impressive 2023 haul that includes titles at Roland Garros, Doha, Stuttgart and Warsaw.
Like her dominant defeat of third-ranked Coco Gauff in the semifinal, Swiatek’s serve was again the telling difference in Sunday’s final, denying Samsonova a single break point opportunity throughout the 69-minute match.
Both players stayed on serve in a steady opening until 22nd-ranked Samsonova double-faulted on her first break point of the match. Swiatek then held for 5-2, and broke Samsonova again to take the first set.
Swiatek mainatined the momentum into the second set to take an early break for 3-1 and quickly closed out her fifth title of the year after Samsonova put a drop shot into the net on match point.
Sebastian Korda stunned third-ranked Daniil Medvedev 7-6 (8), 6-2 to advance to the fourth round of the Shanghai Masters.
The 23-year-old Korda showed stamina and resilience by saving three set points to eventually prevail in an enthralling first-set tiebreak.
Medvedev, a finalist at the China Open last week, was far from his imperious best that has seen him win 60 matches this season. He cut an increasingly frustrated figure in the second set, and when Korda prised a break to take a 2-0 lead there was no stopping the 26th-seeded American from racing to his maiden win over a top-five player.
“We played really good tennis from the beginning,” said Korda, who made the final in Astana last week as part of the tour’s Asia swing. “We had some long rallies. I’m just really happy to get that first set under my belt and then it was just a matter of getting into one of his service games and hopefully taking it home after.”
Korda will next face Francisco Cerundolo, who beat Marton Fucsovics 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.
Sixth-seeded Jannik Sinner, fresh from his China Open final win, had a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 over 25th-seeded Sebastian Baez and 19th-seeded Ben Shelton beat Roman Safiullin 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Eight-seeded Casper Ruud made it back-to-back straight sets wins with a convincing 6-4, 6-2 win over 29th-seeded Christopher Eubanks. Ruud plays Fabian Marozsan in the fourth round.
In second round matches carrying over from Saturday’s rain delay, fifth seeded Andriy Rublev beat Quentin Halys 6-4, 7-5 and Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego defeated 10th-seeded Frances Tiafoe 2-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Also, J.J. Wolf outlasted 15th-seeded Cameron Norrie 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (4) and Grigor Dimitrov eased past Aleksander Vukic 6-4, 6-3. The 18th-seeded Dimitrov will next play 13th-seeded Karen Khachanov, who beat qualifier Bebit Zhukayev 7-6 (1), 4-6, 6-2.
Other second round winners included 32nd-seeded Ugo Humbert, Arthur Fils, Diego Schwartzman and 31st-seeded Adrian Mannarino.
Top-seeded Carlos Alcaraz plays his third round match on Monday against 30th-seeded Daniel Evans, who was leading 6-2, 3-0 against qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin when the Kazakh player retired.
AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis