WTA roundup: Qinwen Zheng aces test vs. Naomi Osaka

Sixth-seeded Qinwen Zheng of China fired 23 aces to take down Japan’s Naomi Osaka 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 on Tuesday in the first round at the ecotrans Ladies Open in Berlin.

The 23 aces are the most in any match on the WTA tour since Canada’s Rebecca Marino had 24 against France’s Caroline Garcia in 2022 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Zheng also saved three of four break points and took advantage of 30 unforced errors by the four-time Grand Slam champion.

Before rain halted play, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus ousted No. 7 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-4, 6-2. Also moving on to the second round were Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova and Ekaterina Alexandrova, Czech Linda Noskova and Croatia’s Donna Vekic.

Rothesay Classic

Caroline Wozniacki’s first match on grass since 2019 ended with a 6-4, 6-1 loss to No. 5 seed Elise Mertens of Belgium in Birmingham, England.

A former World No. 1 from Denmark, the 33-year-old Wozniacki’s return from maternity leave lasted one hour and 31 minutes. Mertens struck seven aces and only faced one break point.

No. 2 seed Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic defeated Australia’s Daria Saville 6-1, 7-6 (5) and Czech No. 8 seed Marie Bouzkova outlasted England’s Heather Watson 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. No. 4 seed Katie Boulter of England was forced to retire after losing 6-3 in the first set to Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina. Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan, Diana Shnaider of Russia, England’s Harriet Dart and Caroline Dolehide also advanced.

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