HUA HIN - THIRD SEED Duan Ying Ying of China ended the resistance of local hope Varatchaya Wongteanchai, beating the Thai 3-6 6-4 6-4 in their second-round match at the US$125,000 EA Hua Hin Championship at True Arena yesterday.
The towering Chinese, ranked No 95 in the world, was down a double break in the second set before she pounded heavy groundstrokes to turn the tide against the doubles specialist to win the match in two hours and 33 minutes in humid conditions at the beach city.
“It was a very good match. Varatchaya is a good friend. She put up a great fight,” said the 28-year-old Chinese who has a perfect |2-0 record against the Thai after previously beating her 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 6-2 in China in 2013.
Ying Ying, who claimed the WTA doubles Elite Trophy in Zhuhai last week with countrywoman Han Xinyun, found herself in trouble at 0-3 in set two after a series of unforced errors. But at 3-4 and |0-30 on the Thai’s serve, she started hitting the lines to keep her rival at bay, levelling the match before jumping to 5-0 in the third.
Varatchaya fought back to 4-5 but the Chinese raised her level again to clinch a crucial break to end the showdown.
“My coach came to talk to me [in the second set] and told me to hit the forehand and backhand faster. It worked. When she was serving at |4-5, I just tried to hit to both wings, hoping to break her momentum. And I did it,” added the Chinese.
She next plays 115th-ranked Ana Bogdan, the sixth seed from Romania, who eased past Veronika Kudermetova of Russia 6-3 6-1.
Bogdan dominated the match with her solid baseline game to advance to her second quarter-final of the year after spending just 78 minutes on court.
“I played very well, especially in the second set. I tried to focus on my serves and on service returns to finish the points early,” said Bogdan, who is playing for the first time at the beach resort.
Asked about the match against Ying Ying, Bogdan said: “She is playing aggressive, hitting flat and has big serves. I have to be focused and ready for that,” said Bogdan.
In other second-round action, Russian Vitalia Diatchenko, who won her second US$25,000 ITF title of the season in Istanbul two weeks ago, prolonged her winning streak by beating Irina Khromatcheva in an all-Russian affair 7-5 6-3. She will next take on former top 10 Belinda Bencic of Switzerland.