WTA Tour

Home favourites snag first-round wins in Jiangxi

Tennis (File)
Tennis (File)

Beijing - Chinese players dominated first round matches on Monday at the hard court WTA Jiangxi Open in the city of Nanchang, southeastern China.

Second seed singles player Peng Shuai of China won her first set against Japan's Kurumi Nara 7-5 before losing the second 4-6 then clinching the victory with a 6-3 win.

Nara had battled fiercely with her opponent, hitting a tricky drop shot for a hard-won point.

China's Wang Qiang also bested Britain's Harriet Dart in two sets, as Han Xinyun beat Thailand's Peangtarn Plipuech.

However, Russian-Australian duo Alla Kudryavtseva and Arina Rodionova defeated Chinese doubles team Liu Chang and Lu Jia-Jing in two sets (6-4, 7-6).

Chinese wildcard player Zheng Saisai also lost to Japan's Eri Hozumi.

Retired Chinese tennis star Li Na is credited with introducing the game to the country's masses.

Training since the age of six, Li was the first Asian player to win a grand slam singles title.

Her success prompted rapid growth in the sport in China before she retired in 2014.

China's men have yet to make an impact on world tennis.

The women's tournament, in its fourth year, runs until Sunday.

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