KUZNETSOVA SECURES FIRST WIN OF THE YEAR

Russian star Svetlana Kuznetsova secures her first victory of the year in Istanbul win over Chinese Wang Qiang.

Two-time slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova started Istanbul journey with a comfortable win over Chinese Wang Qiang in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3. She notched her first tour-level match win since last year’s US Open.

The 32-year old Russian made a great start to the match as she led 4-0 in 12 minutes. Wang took her first game before four consecutive breaks which happened end of the set. After taking first set 6-3, Sveta gets another break at the beginning of second set, but Wang levelled it after sixth game. However, Russian star not allowed rival to move further and closed the match with three consecutive games.

Kuznetsova will play Viktoriya Tomova or Valentina Ivakhnenko for the next round, both came from qualifying.

American Christina McHale outclassed Mona Barthel 7-6, 4-6, 6-3 in centre court end of the day. McHale, ranked 88 in the world, through to second round where she will face Irina Camelia Begu or Dalila Jakupovic.

Earlier of the day, qualifying matches concluded in Garanti Koza Park and all six qualifiers secured their respective berths in main draw. Winners of the final round was Viktoriya Tomova, Valentina Ivakhnenko, Arantxa Rus, Dalila Jakupovic, Anna Kalinskaya and 2016 finalist Danka Kovinic.