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Tennis-Wildcard Zhang wins maiden WTA singles title in Guangzhou


Sept 21 (Reuters) - China's wildcard entrant Zhang Shuai won her maiden WTA Tour singles title with a 7-6 (1) 6-1 victory over American qualifier Vania King in the Guangzhou Open final on Saturday.

Playing in her first singles final, the 112th-ranked Zhang continued her run of straight-set victories and won the $500,000 hard-court tournament in front of her delighted home crowd.

After an evenly-matched first set, Zhang ran through the second, winning 16 of the last 17 points against the 124th-ranked American.

Zhang, whose previous best singles performance was reaching the semi-finals in the same event in 2010, became the fifth Chinese player to win a WTA title after Li Na, Zheng Jie, Yan Zi and Sun Tiantian. (Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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