HONG KONG: Venus Williams was eliminated from the Hong Kong Open Thursday by France’s Alize Cornet after a tightly fought match.
The 49th-ranked Cornet beat the American, ranked 14 in the world, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 in a match that lasted 2 hours and 7 minutes.
She will face defending champion Jelena Jankovic of Serbia at the next stage.
Top seed Angelique Kerber of Germany won her match against America’s Louisa Chirico, which was suspended after a little over two sets on Wednesday when rain stopped play.
Kerber dominated in the third set on Thursday, ultimately winning 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, and is in the top spot on the road to Singapore’s WTA finals. She will play Australia’s Daria Gavrilova in the next round.
Britain’s Johanna Konta saw her chance to play in Singapore’s WTA finals fade after she withdrew from the Hong Kong Open with an abdominal injury Thursday.
“Obviously never the ideal way to finish the tournament, never the intention when you come here to play,” said Konta.
Konta was in Hong Kong to try to cap a stunning rise over the last 15 months from 146th to ninth in the rankings.
The 25-year-old Sydney-born Briton broke into the top 10 with her run to the final at her maiden appearance at last week’s China Open.
She pulled out before a second-round match against China’s Wang Qiang, who will now face Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki on Friday.