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China’s Wang Xiyu claims maiden WTA title in Guangzhou

China’s Wang Xiyu captured her maiden WTA Tour title on Saturday as the world number 88 powered past Magda Linette 6-0, 6-2 in the final of the Guangzhou Open, the first elite women’s tournament in the Asian nation since 2019.

The 22-year-old Wang’s victory marked the fourth time that a Chinese player has been crowned champion in Guangzhou, following Wang Qiang (2018), Zhang Shuai (2013, 2017) and Li Na (2004).

“It was very exciting and it’s a very emotional moment because in this tournament, every player is really tough,” Wang said. “It’s so difficult to be here on the last day. I’m happy to be here.

ALSO READ | ANDY MURRAY RETURNS TO CHINA

“I wanted a title from the first day, even when I started tennis. It was really a dream for me. I think there’s going to be bigger tournaments, tougher matches waiting for me and I’m just trying my best like I did this week.”

Wang is the third Chinese champion this season after Zhu Lin (Hua Hin) and Zheng Qinwen (Palermo) – the first time since 2006 that the country had enjoyed similar success in singles.

China last hosted a WTA tournament in 2019, before the COVID-19 crisis wreaked havoc on the global sports schedule.

The WTA later suspended its tournaments there after former doubles world number one Peng Shuai said in a now deleted 2021 social media post that a former Chinese government official sexually assaulted her.

Peng then briefly disappeared from public view and later denied making the accusation, sparking an international outcry over her safety.

The WTA was widely praised for suspending tournaments in China but reversed its decision in April.

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