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Wuhan Open: Simona Halep and Serena Williams make early exits in China

Simona Halep reacts during her defeat to defeat to Garbine Muguruza at the Wuhan Open
Image: Simona Halep reacts during her defeat to defeat to Garbine Muguruza at the Wuhan Open

Simona Halep suffered a shock defeat, while Serena Williams was forced to withdraw from the Wuhan Open on Tuesday.

The second-seeded Halep had seemed on course for a routine win against Garbine Muguruza after she took the first set in 35 minutes.

However, the Spaniard hit back in impressive fashion and with Halep making too many unforced errors – 38 in total – Muguruza pounced to secure a 2-6 6-2 6-3 win.

Top-ranked Williams also made an early exit, although she was struck down by illness instead of suffering defeat.

In her first competitive outing since triumphing at the US Open, she retired after just 11 games of her match with Alize Cornet.
Williams was 6-5 up having just broken her French opponent's serve when she summoned the trainer.

After having her temperature taken and consulting with a doctor, the American opted against continuing - handing Cornet a third straight win over her this year.

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Organisers later confirmed that Williams had withdrawn due to a viral illness.

Bad day for seeds

It was turning into be a bad day for the seeded players, with Sara Errani, Ekaterina Makarova, Jelena Jankovic and Andrea Petkovic all failing to advance.

Injury ended Jankovic’s hopes, with the 10th seed trailing 4-1 against Coco Vandeweghe when she was forced to withdraw.

Errani, the 11th seed who beat Heather Watson in round one, suffered a 6-4 6-4 loss against Alison Riske, while No 13 seed Makarova, the US Open semi-finalist, bowed out 6-4 6-1 to qualifier Timea Bacsinszky.

No 16 seed Petkovic’s hopes were ended by Karolina Pliskova, with the Czech registering a 6-4 6-4 victory.

Eighth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki narrowly avoided joining them, with the Dane taken to the wire by Carla Suarez Navarro before she managed to squeeze out a 6-1 3-6 7-6 (7-4) success.

Elina Svitolina, Kirsten Flipkens and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova are also through to the third round after their respective wins over Sabine Lisicki, Jarmila Gajdosova and Madison Keys.

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