Sports

Zheng and Puig off to winning starts

UNEXPECTED: Monica Puig (left) beat the higher-ranked Zarina Diyas yesterday. PHOTO: WORLD SPORT GROUP

One is touted as the next Li Na, while the other is the highest-ranked player in the WTA Rising Stars Invitational Tournament.

By the end of the first day of competition at the OCBC Arena yesterday, it was China's rising star Zheng Saisai who earned the bragging rights over world No. 34 Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan.

Zheng, 20, lost the first set 6-2 to 71st-ranked American Shelby Rogers, but fought back to win the next two sets 6-2, 10-6.

In the next match, Diyas, 21, crashed to Puerto Rico's Monica Puig 7-5, 6-2, as she struggled to keep up with the world No. 63's strength and speed.

The WTA Rising Stars Invitational Tournament continues today with Puig taking on Zheng at 10am, and Diyas facing Rogers at 11.30am.

- HAIQAL SARI