Kerber crashes out in China Open third round

Beijing—Ukrainian Elina Svitolina scored her second win this year over a world number one, ousting Angelique Kerber in the round of 16 in Beijing on Thursday.
Nineteenth-ranked Svitolina took just two sets to beat newly crowned number one Kerber—who ascended to the top spot at the US Open, the same week she also claimed her second Grand Slam crown—with a 6-3, 7-5 win.
The 22-year-old left Serena Williams in tears in Rio in August, denying the 22-time Grand Slam champion a fifth Olympic gold medal with a straight set win.
“When they announce (the names at the start of the march) you have this weird feeling because you realise you’re playing against world number one”, Svitolina said after the match.
“I try to really don’t think about it. If I think too much, I lose my way,” she added.
Kerber, who had her right thigh taped during the match, had a break lead in each set but appeared glued to the baseline and was unable to take control.
“I know that I have to move very well when I play my game, and I couldn’t play my game like I play,” Kerber told reporters.
The German still plans to play in Hong Kong next week as she chases points to end the year at number one—but her right leg may alter her plans. Meanwhile, French second seed Gael Monfils advanced to the Japan Open quarter-finals with a victory over compatriot Gilles Simon on Thursday in a field blighted by injury.
The world number eight nailed seven aces to oust Simon 6-1, 6-4 in one hour and 16 minutes.
The triumph was 30-year-old Monfils’ second victory against Simon, ranked 30th in the world, in their eight ATP meetings.
Monfils, who has made it to the semi-final in the US Open but fell to Novak Djokovic, was a runner-up at the Japan Open’s 2010 edition, when Rafael Nadal triumphed.
In the quarter-finals Friday, the Frenchman will face Croatian seventh seed Ivo Karlovic (CRO), who tiptoed past Serb Janko Tipsarevic 7-6 (11/9), 7-6 (7/5).—AFP

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