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Wickmayer too powerful for Qiang at Kooyong

Posted on January 11, 2017

A powerful hitting game from Yanina Wickmayer was more than enough for the Belgian to defeat China’s Wang Qiang 6-3 6-4 in the final match on day two of the 2017 Priceline Pharmacy Kooyong Classic.

She will now go on to play Romanian Sorana Cirstea on Friday afternoon in the final of the women’s championship draw.

The 27-year-old is confident about her game as she prepares for a ninth Australian Open campaign, where she has reached the fourth round twice in her career.

“It’s nice being here, it’s my first time here and it was a very nice match,” Wickmayer said with a smile.

“I think we both played pretty well and I’m still practicing pretty hard for next week so I’m a bit tired out there but I think it’s the perfect preparation.”

Standing at six feet tall the former world number 12 is an imposing figure on the court and hit a number of clean winners past Qiang throughout the match.

“Yeah I’m feeling good, I still need a few adjustments before next week I think,” Wickmayer said of her form.

“We’re working still pretty hard so I think I’ll be fine once the real matches start.

“It always can get hot out here so I just think we have to be ready for that and it’s nice to have a match in the heat already to prepare.

“It’s also pretty windy so it’s not easy conditions but it’s good to get used to and particularly in a match it’s different to practice.”

Qiang is the second highest ranked female player in China and was the first player from her country to compete at the Kooyong Classic, which is hosting female players for the first time in 23 years.

The 24-year-old was content with her performance and will benefit from the outing ahead of the upcoming Grand Slam, the first time she has played a local game before heading to Melbourne Park.

“I felt not bad,” Qiang said.

“It was my first match ever in Melbourne before the Grand Slam and before that I just arrived so it’s not bad.

“Yes it will give me better preparation, it was a much better second set and if I keep going I’ll be prepared for the Australian Open.

“It’s okay (the weather), not so hot for me.”

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