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PENNETTA WINS FIRST MATCH SINCE US OPEN

2015-10-5


BEIJING, China - Flavia Pennetta won her first match since her Cinderella run to her first Grand Slam title at the US Open on Sunday, edging Chinese wildcard Han Xinyun in her China Open opener.

Pennetta, playing on a career-high ranking of No.6 and the No.3 seed in Beijing, looked headed for a straight set win after building a 7-5, 2-0 lead. That's when things began tightening up - Han battled through eight of the next 10 games to not only take the second set, 6-4, but go up 2-0 in the third.

But there was one last momentum swing as Pennetta began finding the range again on her world class groundstrokes - she won six of the next eight games to close out a marathon 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 victory.

The two put together some impressive match numbers in their two hours and 27 minutes on the court - Han finished with a +3 differential of winners to unforced errors (39 to 36) while Pennetta was +6 on the day (41 to 35). Han hit a wide backhand - her 36th unforced error of the match - on match point.

Han, who was going for the biggest win of her career, said Pennetta was much better at crunch time.

"I wasn't very confident on the court in those key moments. I wasn't as experienced as my opponent," the Chinese said. "Flavia was dealing with those moments very well - I don't think she played her best tennis today, but in the important moments she was better than me. So all the credit goes to her."

Next up is Brazilian trailblazer Teliana Pereira, who won her first round match on Saturday.

Pennetta and Pereira will be playing against each other for the very first time.



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