I get knocked down, but I get up again: Yingying Duan beats the pain to cause a major upset in Hua Hin.
I get knocked down, but I get up again: Yingying Duan beats the pain to cause a major upset in Hua Hin.

Duan great: Brave Chinese outsider ousts French seed in Hua Hin upset

sports January 30, 2019 01:00

By Lerpong Amsa-ngiam
The Nation
Hua Hin 

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Chinese qualifier Yingying Duan was the day’s giant-killer in the US$250,000 WTA Thailand Open on Tuesday, recovering from a back injury to send seventh-seeded Pauline Parmentier of France crashing out 1-6 6-3 6-4 in the first round.



The 29-year-old from Tianjin, ranked 201st in the world, looked in some distress as she had to call for on-court medical treatment several times before she fought back bravely to win her first main-draw match this year after losing two qualifying matches in Shenzhen and the Australian Open.

‘’In the first set I felt really down as I felt so much pain,” said Duan, whose only WTA title was on homesoil in Jiangxi in 2016 and whose best career ranking was No 60 in 2017. 

“I had to call for a trainer and she gave me some painkillers. After a while I felt so much better. I’m so happy to be able to have pulled off a win after a situation like that.”

The towering Chinese, who is 1.81 metres tall, next faces Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland or Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain in the next round.

“I don’t know what to expect once the effect [of the painkillers] is gone. In regards to my next match, everybody is quite competitive and dangerous as the level of all players is quite close. I just need to have to prepare for a tough match,” added the big-hitting Chinese.

Parmentier was quickly into her stride and raced into a 5-0 lead. 

Duan received treatment for her injury during the change of ends and although she returned to hold serve, the Frenchwoman held her own serve to close out the first set.

The momentum seemed to have gone even further in the Frenchwoman’s favour as she broke for a 3-2 lead, whereupon Duan requested two more on-court massages. 

Suddenly, she started winning points with heavy groundstrokes and she levelled, taking take the second set in 41 minutes.

She quickly built a 3-1 lead in the third before Parmemtier, winner of two titles - in Istanbul and Quebec – last year, rallied back for 3-3. Duan then launched a series of raids to break for 5-4 and wrapped up the two-hour battle with a smash.

Joining her in round two is countrywoman Saisai Zheng, the fourth seed and world No 24 beating Mandy Minella of Luxembourg 6-7 (8-10) 6-4 6-4 in a marathon match that lasted two hours and 47 minutes.

In the doubles first round, second seeded Irina-Camelia Begu and Monica Niculescu of Romania beat Xinyu Jiang and Qianhui Tang 7-5 6-3.

Jennifer Brady 

In the evening session, American qualifier Jennifer Brady caused a big upset after she sent packing second seeded Caroline Garcia of France 6-4 7-6 (7-3). The 117th ranked player from Florida employed aggressive and consistent groundstrokes to upset the world No 19 in two hours and four minutes for her first win against the Frenchwoman in three attempts.

“I’ve played her a few times before so I knew what to expect. She’s a tough competitor I was happy with the way I performed. From the first point of the match, I knew my intensity was up,” said Brady who reached the Australian Open doubles semi-final along with fellow American Alison Riske last week.

While Garcia bowed out, top seed Garbine Muguruza of Spain was not ready for an upset as she trounced wildcard holder Sabine Lisicki of Germany 6-3 6-4.

Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland beat Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain 6-2 6-4 while Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia advanced to second round after Timea Babos of Hingary retired at 0-6 1-3 due to dizziness.

Zhang Shuai 

Newly crowned Australian Open doubles champion Zhang Shuai of China dashed Thai hope Luksika Kumkhum 6-2 6-1. The Thai No 1 has lost all her three matches this year.

Luksika Kumkhum 

"I was unable to play my game. She came onto the court with a game plan which is not the style I had expected. I saw her matches from youtube but she was better prepared. She hit so well and didn't give me opportunities," said Luksika.

Earlier in the day, eighth-seeded Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine and Kateryna Kozlova had a Thai culture class, being taught how to fold lotus flower leaves to be presented to a Thai Buddha image, which is part of the tournament’s promotional activities.

In the doubles first round, second seeded Irina-Camelia Begu and Monica Niculescu of Romania beat Xinyu Jiang and Qianhui Tang 7-5 6-3.

Earlier in the day, eighth-seeded Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine and Kateryna Kozlova had a Thai culture class, being taught how to fold lotus flower leaves to be presented to a Thai Buddha image, which is part of the tournament’s promotional activities.

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