TOKYO – Spanish top seed Paula Badosa fell at the first hurdle at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on Wednesday, losing 6-3, 6-2 to fast-rising Chinese teenager Zheng Qinwen.
World No. 4 Badosa, who was eliminated in the round of 64 at the recent US Open, struggled to gain a foothold against the 36th-ranked Zheng and joined second seed Caroline Garcia in making an early exit from the tournament.
The Frenchwoman had lost 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/5) to China’s Zhang Shuai.
Badosa failed to hit a single ace and lost seven straight games before ending a miserable evening in the Japanese capital by swatting a return straight into the ground on match point.
The 19-year-old Zheng, who reached the last 32 at the US Open, said her win over Badosa was “not a surprise” for her.
“I always know that I have the level,” said Zheng.
“It’s just when to make it. I’m so happy that I can make this match and I want to repeat it again.”
Zheng, who beat Japan’s Misaki Doi 6-2, 6-4 in the first round, will face either Belgium’s Elise Mertens or Claire Liu of the United States in the quarter-finals.
Badosa had a bye into the second round.