Guangzhou, China (4E Sports) – Wildcard Zhang Shuai defeated qualifier Vania King, 7-6 (1), 6-1, Saturday to bag her first WTA title at the Guangzhou Open.
Zhang, who didn’t drop a set all week, finished the first set in 65 minutes and clinched 16 of the last 17 points of the match to end the second set in just 32 minutes.
“I’m not a person who often gets excited, but today I feel really happy,” Zhang said. “This is the biggest moment of my career. I look at this like a new starting point, not a final destination.”
Zhang, who was a semifinalist here in 2010, became the fifth Chinese player ever to win a WTA title, after Li Na (who has seven WTA titles), Zheng Jie (who has four), Yan Zi and Sun Tiantian.
Meanwhile, top seed Agnieszka Radwanska and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova sealed their final showdown after beating respective semifinal rival at the KDB Korea Open.
Radwanska needed just 64 minutes to beat Lara Arruabarrena, 6-0, 6-2. Radwanska hit eight aces to zero double faults and won the last 15 points of the match.
The third Pavlyuchenkova followed Radwanska into the final with a 7-6 (11), 7-6(6) win over Francesca Schiavone.
Radwanska leads Pavlyuchenkova in their head-to-head, 2-1, though only one of those meetings came in the last four years.
On the men’s side, top seed and two-time defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga powered past Florian Mayer, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 to seal an all-French final at Moselle Open.
Tsonga will face compatriot Gilles Simon, defeated another Frenchman Nicolas Mahut, 6-3, 7-6(2), in the first semifinal of the day.
At the St. Petersburg Open, sixth seed Ernests Gulbis beat Poland’s Michal Przysiezny, 6-3, 6-3, to advance against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the final.
Garcia-Lopez booked a spot in the final with an emphatic 6-1, 6-1 victory over world No. 89 Joao Sousa of Portugal.