July 29, 2018 / 11:36 AM / 4 months ago

Wang lifts first WTA title in Nanchang after Zheng retirement

Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - May 27, 2018 China's Qiang Wang celebrates after winning her first round match against Venus Williams of the U.S. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

(Reuters) - China’s second seed Wang Qiang claimed her first WTA title after her compatriot Zheng Saisai was forced to retire injured trailing 7-5 4-0 in the Jiangxi Open final on Sunday.

Wang struggled to find her rhythm in the opening exchanges, allowing Zheng to seize her opportunities by mixing up baseline drives and deft drop shots.

But the match turned, with Zheng leading 5-3 and two points away from clinching the opening set, when Wang backed her incredible defensive skills to respond with a break and draw level at 5-5.

The 26-year-old Wang found another gear as she roared through eight of the last 10 points to close out the set in splendid fashion.

Zheng, who was out injured from last September to this March, complained to her coach of fatigue at the end of first set and looked to shorten points with angled drop shots.

But Wang was up for the task with crisp volleys at the net to convert consecutive breaks of serve before Zheng, in tears, conceded the match and title to her compatriot.

Wang became the eighth Chinese champion in WTA history, and a third consecutive winner in Nanchang from the home nation after Duan Yingying and Peng Shuai.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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