China’s Zhang wins Guangzhou Open

The World No. 30 recaptured the crown she had won in 2013.

Zhang Shuai with the trophy after winning the final on Saturday.   -  AFP

China's Zhang Shuai battled to her second career title with a gutsy three-set victory in the final of the Guangzhou Open on Saturday. The No. 2 seed defeated unseeded Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 in nearly two hours on the hard courts in southern China, to the delight of the home crowd.

Zhang, the World No. 30, held her arms aloft and dropped to her knees after sealing the title with an ace, recapturing the crown she won in 2013.

The 24-year-old Krunic was contesting the first WTA final of her career and displayed her nerves in making 11 unforced errors in the first set to hand the initiative to Zhang. But Krunic found her groove in the second set and the more experienced Zhang, 28, began to falter. Krunic, ranked 65 in the world, reeled off three games without reply to level the match at one set each.

She went into the decider with the momentum, but seemed to surrender that when she needed a medical time-out for a shoulder problem and there was also an enforced heat break. Zhang decisively swung the match back in her favour when she broke her opponent for the sixth time.

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