Kvitova battles through as seeds tumble in Wuhan

Petra Kvitova entered the third round after beating Polona Hercog at the Wuhan Open but Caroline Wozniacki and Angelique Kerber have been knocked out.

Petra Kvitova at the Wuhan Open.   -  Getty Images

Two-time Wuhan Open champion Petra Kvitova is into the third round after a battling straight-sets win over Polona Hercog.

A forearm injury has blighted the second half of 2019 for Kvitova, who failed to get beyond the first two rounds at Cincinnati or the US Open, but Wuhan has proved a happy hunting ground in the past and yielded titles in 2014 and 2016.

The 29-year-old was given a test by world number 52 Hercog but claimed a 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 triumph in just over an hour and 42 minutes, thereby setting up a third-round meeting with Sloane Stephens or Wang Yifang.

Defending champion Aryna Sabalenka continued her imperious form on the hard courts of Wuhan, thrashing Danielle Collins 6-1 6-0.

Collins knocked out compatriot Venus Williams in the opening round but was utterly blown away after an early hold of serve, losing in just 51 minutes and without mustering a single break point.

It was otherwise a bleak day for the seeded players, with Angelique Kerber falling to Monica Puig and Caroline Wozniacki beaten by Hsieh Su-wei.

Eleventh-seed Kerber lost an epic showdown with Puig 7-6 (7-5) 5-7 6-1 in a match that lasted just 13 minutes shy of three hours.

"I don't think I've practiced that long in a really long time," said Puig, who faces Alison Riske in the next round. "She pushes me to the extra level. I just had to continue to fight and believe in myself."

Wozniacki was beaten for the second time in 2019 by Hsieh, who claimed a 6-7 (2-7) 6-1 6-2 win and will now meet Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Donna Vekic, seeded 16th, and 14th-seed Anastasija Sevastova were also beaten, both going down 4-6 6-3 6-3 to Ons Jabeur and Christina Mchale respectively.

Garbine Muguruza saw off Shuai Peng 6-3 6-2 in an impressive outing, while Sofia Kenin, Elise Mertens, Rebecca Peterson, Amanda Anisimova and Veronika Kudermetova also progressed.