BEIJING, China – Wang Qiang produced a flawless performance to progress past No.12 seed Jelena Ostapenko, 6-0, 6-0 in the China Open.
Wang arrived in Beijing one of the form players on the WTA Tour, having won 14 of her past 17 matches including a run to the semifinals of Wuhan last week. Additionally, she had beaten her Latvian opponent in their previous meeting last year in Dubai.
History in Beijing was against the Chinese player, though. She came into the tournament having won only once in four previous matches here and yet made Lotus Court her home with a solid display that saw her win through against the WTA World No.13 without so much as dropping a game.
Ostapenko, who struggled with an injury to her left arm throughout the match, failed to create a break-point opportunity throughout the 55-minute tussle. Indeed, she only had two points to win a game of any sort.
"I didn't do anything exceptional," Wang said. "I think it was a gift from her. She gave the games to me. She just made too many errors and double faults. I think she was struggling."
The opening set was more competitive than the scoreline might have suggested, with three of the six games going to deuce, but the second was entirely one-sided.
Despite an ailing opponent, she said she felt she needed to be ruthless.
Asked if she felt she might have been more respectful to give her opponent a game, she replied: "I didn't want to make any uncautious decisions because at any point there might be a comeback or a turnaround. When you're fighting for each point, that's being respectful too."
Indeed, she did not want to be on court too long.
"Yesterday, my physio asked me to run a few meters, then I had to stop," she said. "Before the match today, I wasn't sure I could play. I was really hesitant.
"Tomorrow I will try to recover and reassess my physical condition."
Next up is an encounter against either No.7 seed Karolina Pliskova or Aliaksandra Sasnovich, who face off on Wednesday.