Istomin cruises at Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off
Top seeds Denis Istomin and Su-Wei Hsieh advanced to the quarterfinals of the men's and women's AO Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off events in Zhuhai.
Top seed Denis Istomin routed Sun Fajing 6-2 6-0 to advance to the quarterfinals of the AO Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off in Zhuhai.
A former world No.33 in 2012, the 30-year-old Istomin, of Uzbekistan, was too strong for the young Chinese.
Sun couldn’t hold his own serve until the fifth game of the first set, and Istomin’s strong forehand ensured he was always in control.
After closing a love service hold with an ace to take the first set, Istomin then swept all six games in a one-sided second set.
“2016 is not a good year for me, I dropped the ranking, so I need to play this tournament to get the wildcard,” said Istomin, who is currently ranked No.121.
“But it’s still far away. It’s just one match that I won. I’m sure there are many good players who want to win the wildcard too, so it will be tough, but I will try my best.”
Local Wu Di, a former winner of this event, beat Yang Tsung-Hua 6-2 6-3 on Centre Court in Zhuhai.
Wu hadn’t lost to Yang since 2013, and maintained his dominance over the Taiwanese player on Thursday with a more consistent display from the baseline.
Wu took the first set on his third set point when Yang fired a shot long, and broke early in the second set; the world No.159 closed out the match with a crosscourt backhand winner.
“Last week I got sick and had fever, so this week I only hoped to get recovered as soon as possible,” Wu said. “I have to say my performance today exceeded my expectations. I feel like I served better than him, and was very decisive to run into the net when the chances came.
“As for the tournament, Duckhee Lee and (Denis) Istomin are very good players – they are obviously the favourites to win. So it’s going to be very difficult to compete against them.”
In the women’s draw, top seed Su-Wei Hsieh beat Thailand’s Peangturn Plipuech 6-3 6-4.
Hsieh only faced problems in the second set when serving for the match at 5-2, when an agressive Plipuech fought hard to take the next two games.
Yet the former world No.23 managed to close out the match after battling two deuces in the 10th game.
“My ankle injury is still not fully healed, and because of that, this is only my fifth match in the second half of the year, so I don’t really have a high expectation before coming here,” Hsieh said.
“(I) just feel relaxed, take it one day a time. If I keep on winning, it would definitely bring a lot of joy.”
For live streaming, live scores, event draws and all other information, visit our AO Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off page.