Strycova thumps Gavrilova at China tennis

Daria Gavrilova has let slip a big opportunity with a costly third-round loss at the China Open in Beijing.

 

Gavrilova conceded the first eight games in a 6-0 6-4 defeat to Czech Barbora Strycova, just as an inviting draw and prime chance to seal a place at the season-ending Elite Trophy event beckoned.

The world No.22 needs to climb into the top 19 to clinch a place in the field for what is effectively the consolation prize for missing the eight-player WTA Tour Finals in Singapore.

Strycova had assumed the top seed's path in China after the first-round elimination of world No.1 Garbine Muguruza.

But, Gavrilova's failure to secure a quarter-final berth has left her fighting for a spot ahead of the Elite Trophy from October 31 in Zhuhai.

Earlier on Thursday, Sorana Cirstea knocked out fourth seed Karolina Pliskova 6-1 7-5 to also advance to the quarter-finals.

Cirstea took revenge for a loss in her only previous match against former world No.1 in 2014.

Pliskova broke the 27-year-old Romanian's serve early in the first set, but Cirstea fought back, winning six games in a row to clinch the first set.

The Czech achieved another service break early in the second set and built on that advantage to lead 5-2, before Cirstea mounted an impressive comeback, winning five-consecutive games to seal the win after 83 minutes.

Cirstea will next take on Latvia's ninth seed Jelena Ostapenko after the French Open champion qualified for the last eight when local favourite Shuai Peng retired while trailing 3-0 in the first set.

Caroline Garcia accounted for fellow Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 6-2 6-1 to continue her hot run and pursuit of a WTA Tour Finals berth.

AAP and EFE

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