SHANGHAI — Ons Jabeur won the fifth WTA title of her career with an emphatic victory over surprise-package Diana Shnaider in the final of the Ningbo Open in China.
The seventh-ranked Tunisian demolished the unseeded Shnaider 6-2, 6-1 for her first hardcourt title.
Top seed Jabeur took a last-minute wildcard into the tournament, and it took her all the way to the final.
The Moscow-born 19-year-old Shnaider, who is 85th in the world, had enjoyed a dream run to her first WTA final.
She defeated two-times Grand Slam champion Petra Kvitova on the way to the championship match.
But she wilted in the face of Jabeur’s superior power and precision, and her title dream was snuffed out in just 78 minutes.
Daniil Medvedev, meanwhile,fought off a challenge from Australian Alex de Minaur to win 7-6 (3), 6-3 and advance to the quarterfinals of the China Open on Saturday in Beijing.
Medvedev was up 5-2 in the first set, but de Minaur rallied to win four straight games to force a tiebreaker, which went to the second-seeded Russian. With the victory, Medvedev won his 40th hard-court match of the season, which leads the tour.
When Medvedev meets Ugo Humbert of France in the quarterfinals, it will be Medvedev’s 13th quarters match in 18 tournaments this year.
Elsewhere, Chinese tennis trailblazer Zhang Zhizhen claimed the nation’s first men’s singles gold medal at the Asian Games in nearly 30 years, riding a wave of crowd support to beat Japan’s Yosuke Watanuki 6-4 7-6(7) in Hangzhou.
Zhang, the first Chinese man to break into the top 100 in the world rankings, roared back from 4-1 down in the first set and wrapped up the match after Japanese number two Watanuki blew a set point in the tiebreaker with a double-fault.
The match sealed when Watanuki fired wide, Zhang tossed his racket away in celebration and walked around the court draped in the red flag of China as home fans erupted.
It was China’s first gold medal in the men’s event since Pan Bing won back-to-back titles in 1990-94.
“It’s been a very, very tough week, not just this match, but very tough for the whole week actually, from the first match onwards,” said Zhang.
“But I’m super happy that from the beginning of the first match, step by step, I’ve played better and better tennis.”
China’s Zheng Qinwen won the women’s singles title, overpowering compatriot Zhu Lin 6-2 6-4.
Meanwhile, Taiwanese sisters Chan Yung-jan and Chan Hao-ching took gold in women’s doubles tennis at the Asian Games and are now looking ahead to next year’s Olympics in Paris.
Chan Yung-jan told reporters after beating Lee Ya-hsuan and Liang En-shuo, also Taiwanese, in the final that even though she’s the older one at 34, 30-year-old Chan Hao-ching is “like the big sister.”
“But I need to make her calm down a little bit,” she added.
She said their different personalities complement each each other on the court.
“We’re so different – she is very brave and goes in with her instincts a lot,” she said. “And me, I need to watch her back and make sure that she can do whatever she wants and that makes us a very good combination.”
The sisters won 6-4, 6-3.