Wozniacki whizzes through in Wuhan
FORMER world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki made a strong start at the WTA Wuhan Open as the tournament was hit by a wave of retirements on Monday.
Wozniacki - fresh from a title victory at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on Sunday - took two sets - a 6-3, 6-2 victory over No. 16 seed Samantha Stosur - to move on, as double Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and Briton Johanna Konta also made good starts.
Four players quit mid-match, taking the tally to six in just two days at the Chinese tournament, which is also missing injured world No. 2 Serena Williams.
Kvitova served six aces - mirrored by her teenage opponent's six double faults - to sweep to a 6-3, 6-1 victory against Latvian Jelena Ostapenko.
Meanwhile, Konta eased past German Annika Beck 6-1, 6-2 to get her campaign off to a flying start.
"She fought all the way through and we had a lot of close games so I don't think the scoreline quite reflects the level of the match," Konta said after the match.
The Australian Open semi-finalist will meet Zhang Shuai of China, who beat compatriot Peng Shuai in three tightly fought sets 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-4.
But Britain's Heather Watson, Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia and Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova all joined the injury list as they retired from their first-round matches.
Meanwhile, Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania bowed out in the second set of her second-round meet with world number five Simona Halep.
The late-season tournament, which comes just two weeks after the year's final Grand Slam, the US Open, also saw five retirements last year - including in the final.