Heather Watson continued her surprise run at the Tianjin Open by beating Magda Linette to reach the semi-finals after saving four match points on Friday.

The Brit had not won a hard-court match on the WTA Tour for over a year before this week, but is two wins away from being crowned champion after a 7-5 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (8-6) victory over the eighth seed.

World number 125 Watson was taken the distance after seeing a match point come and go in the second set and forced a tie-break after Linette had four chances to wrap up the quarter-final.

The unseeded Watson eventually prevailed by securing a ninth mini-break in the final set and will face Veronika Kudermetova in the last four.

Russian Kudermetova toppled third seed Dayana Yastremska 6-4 6-0 in a battle of heavy hitters.

There will be no seeds in the semi-finals after Ons Jabeur defeated Yulia Putintseva 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-4). 

Jabeur will come up against Rebecca Peterson with a place in the final at stake following the Swede's 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-2 success against home hope Wang Yafan.

Heather Watson reached a WTA Tour quarter-final for the first time in over a year as she defeated Tianjin Open favourite Wang Qiang to set up a clash with Magda Linette.

The Briton - ranked 125th in the world - cruised to a 6-3 6-0 triumph over Wang to claim her first win against a top-30 opponent since she defeated Anastasija Sevastova at Wimbledon in 2017.

Korea Open finalist Linette, who last month beat Watson in qualifying for the China Open, awaits in the 27-year-old's first last-eight outing at this level since Quebec in September 2018, with the Pole having progressed when Kurumi Nara retired at 4-0 down.

Peng Shuai, meanwhile, proved little match for third seed Dayana Yastremska, who eased through 6-2 6-4.

Yastremska, now the highest-seeded player left in the competition, will face Veronika Kudermetova in the last eight, with Zheng Saisai retiring against the Russian.

Karolina Muchova took just over an hour to beat Magda Linette in a rain-delayed Korea Open final, claiming her first WTA title in the process.

The pair had to wait six hours to take to the court, but Muchova wasted little time in dispatching Bronx Open winner Linette 6-1 6-1 in Seoul.

It was only the second meeting between Muchova and Linette, who had won a two-hour 45-minute encounter 6-7 (7-4) 6-4 7-6 (7-3) en route to her success in New York.

Wimbledon quarter-finalist Muchova has enjoyed a career-best season and was in no mood to give up on a chance to win her maiden title.

Muchova started as she meant to go on, breaking serve twice in the first three games to take a 5-1 lead before wrapping up a 32-minute first set with another break.

Set two followed a similar trend, Linette - three below Muchova in the WTA rankings - conceding her first service game.

Muchova took full advantage, breaking again in the sixth game and going on to serve out the victory with two match points to spare.

Sofia Kenin came from a set down to defeat Samantha Stosur 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-2 and win her third WTA Tour title of 2019 at the Guangzhou Open on Saturday.

American 20-year-old Kenin produced a pivotal break at 4-4 in the second set, which came as she reeled off seven games in succession to turn the match on its head.

The third seed went a break up in the opener but surrendered her advantage and lost out in the tie-break when she sent a forehand from the baseline long.

Stosur, who was looking for her first WTA Tour singles title in over two years, dropped her serve at the start of the second but gave up just one point across three games to edge in front.

Kenin showed great character to force a decider and held to love either side of successive breaks to gain an advantage she did not relinquish, staving off a break point to take a 5-1 lead before serving out the match.

Karolina Muchova and Magda Linette will battle it out for glory at the Korea Open on Sunday.

Muchova defeated Wang Yafan 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 after coming from a break down in the first set, while Linette saved four set points before sealing a 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (9-7) win over Ekaterina Alexandrova with her fourth match point.

Bronx Open champion Magda Linette eased into the quarter-finals of the Jiangxi Open in confident fashion with a 6-2 6-3 victory over Liu Fangzhou.

It took world number 45 Linette just 58 minutes to complete her straight-sets victory over the wildcard, as the Pole moved to within one win of matching her run to the semi-finals in 2018.

Linette hit 20 winners in total, without conceding a break point to her opponent - a quarter-finalist in Nanchang in 2016 and 2018.

The third seed will take on Rebecca Peterson in the last eight, after the Swede's victory over Jana Fett, while Viktorija Golubic and Kateryna Kozlova also progressed.

In Hiroshima, defending Hana-cupid Japan Open champion Hsieh Su-wei overcame a poor first-set performance to claim a 1-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 win over Priscilla Hon.

Hon served for the match twice in the second set and missed an additional chance to secure victory in the third, and Hsieh made her pay in a contest that lasted over two hours.

World number 29 Hsieh will now face Nao Hibino – whose opponent Zarina Diyas retired hurt – in the quarters, where they are joined by second seed Veronika Kudermetova and Laura Siegemund after they beat Christina McHale and Patricia Maria Tig respectively.

Japan Women's Open second seed Veronika Kudermetova set the tone for Monday's WTA Tour action with a straight-sets win over Varvara Lepchenko.

All the seeds competing across the tournament in Hiroshima and at the JiangXi Open in Nanchang, China, were triumphant.

Kudermetova did it the hard way, though, her 6-4 6-2 victory coming after she had fallen 3-0 behind in the first set.

She was joined in round two by fellow seeded players Alison Van Uytvanck and Zarina Diyas, while Priscilla Hon also progressed. 

In Nanchang, third seed Magda Linette beat Giuliana Olmos 6-3 6-2, fifth seed Rebecca Peterson saw off Xun Fang Ying 6-0 6-3, sixth seed Viktorija Golubic downed Jaqueline Cristian 6-3 6-2, and seventh seed Kateryna Kozlova thrashed Greta Arn 6-2 6-1.

Naomi Osaka moved into round three of the US Open with a straight-sets win over in-form Magda Linette, but she did not have it all her own way.

Reigning champion Osaka was taken the distance by Anna Blinkova in her opener on Tuesday but avoided a repeat after reeling off five straight games to come from behind in the second set and triumph 6-2 6-4.

The world number one will face the winner of the encounter between teenage sensation Coco Gauff and Timea Babos in the third round.

Osaka was forced to retire from her Western & Southern Open quarter-final against Sofia Kenin due to a knee injury and admitted after overcoming Blinkova she did not feel at her best.

However, she started strongly at Louis Armstrong Stadium on Thursday, not dropping a single point in her first two service games and then breaking to love.

The two-time major champion rallied from 40-0 down in game seven to earn a double break and promptly wrapped up a commanding first set.

Linette - who was on a nine-match winning streak that included clinching a first WTA Tour title at the Bronx Open - won against serve when Osaka buried a shot in the net early in the second and the Japanese was fortunate her opponent failed to repeat a stunning forehand down the line for a 4-0 advantage.

Osaka heeded the warning and came straight back, regaining her rhythm and surging into a potential blockbuster against Gauff that would delight the fans at Flushing Meadows.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Naomi Osaka [1] bt Magda Linette 6-2 6-4

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Osaka – 13/19
Linette – 10/20

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Osaka – 2/3
Linette – 2/2

BREAK POINTS WON
Osaka – 4/6
Linette – 1/4

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Osaka – 46
Linette – 55

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Osaka – 83/59
Linette – 55/50

TOTAL POINTS
Osaka – 60
Linette – 43

Qualifier Magda Linette won an epic final against Camila Giorgi to triumph in the first edition of the Bronx Open, sealing her first WTA Tour title.

In the last WTA event before the US Open, the world number 80 triumphed 5-7 7-5 6-4 in two hours and 33 minutes, topping her sole previous success on the 125k circuit.

Three competitive sets eventually led to Linette taking the victory, while Italian Giorgi lost her second final in the space of 20 days, having suffered the same fate in Washington.

Four of the first five games in the opening set produced breaks and Giorgi ultimately prevailed by striking to love on Linette's serve at 5-5 before converting the first of three set points.

But the Pole has scrapped hard all week, winning seven matches to reach the final, and claimed the second set with some clutch play. 

She saved four break points at a critical moment to move 5-4 ahead and, despite failing to take two set points in the next game, ultimately got the break she needed.

Giorgi, ranked 58, appeared to have regained the ascendancy by breaking in the first game of the decider. However, Linette saved another four break points to stop herself from falling a double break behind.

That changed the momentum and she subsequently rallied from 4-2 down, winning four straight games and claiming the first of two championship points when Giorgi put a forehand into the net, Linette celebrating by embracing her team.

Linette heads to Flushing Meadows on a high and could face defending champion Naomi Osaka in the second round of the US Open.

Camila Giorgi claimed a thrilling semi-final win over Wang Qiang to reach the Bronx Open decider, while Magda Linette also progressed on Friday.

Giorgi saved four match points to edge top seed Wang 4-6 6-4 7-6 (8-6) after two hours, 39 minutes in New York City.

The Italian came from a break down three times in the third set, saving her first match point in the 10th game.

Giorgi squandered a match point of her own in the 12th game before coming from 6-3 down in the tie-break to reach an eighth WTA Tour final.

She will face qualifier Linette, who upset fifth seed Katerina Siniakova 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 in their semi-final.

Linette is into her second WTA Tour decider and lost to Giorgi in three sets when they last met in 2015.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.