‘Angry’ Svitolina tees up Wang clash in Hong Kong

Elina Svitolina has advanced tto the Hong Kong Open quarterfinals. (AFP pic)

HONG KONG: World number five Elina Svitolina said she was playing “mean” and “angry” at the Hong Kong Open on Thursday as she targets a place at the WTA Finals Singapore.

The top seed breezed through her second-round tie to set up a crunch quarterfinal clash Friday with China’s number one Wang Qiang.

The match will be a repeat of August’s US Open third-round contest, which the Ukrainian won in straight sets.

“I was really angry today,” said the Rome champion, who is battling four other players for the final three places in Singapore.

“We’re in the race for Singapore – I want really bad to be there.”

The 24-year-old added she knew what to expect from Wang, who she said was helping spearhead the development of Chinese tennis.

“I’m just going to try and bring my best game tomorrow and try and play as mean as I played today.”

Svitolina looked in ominous form Thursday as she brushed aside Japan’s Nao Hibino for the loss of just three games.

Her Friday opponent is also coming off the back of a hot streak which has seen her win two WTA titles in just four months.

Sixth seed Wang also only needed two sets to get past American Christina McHale 7-5, 6-1.

“I think I played really well tonight, so I have nothing to lose tomorrow,” she said.

Now ranked 24, Wang is chasing more WTA titles to go with the two she picked up in July and September in Nanchang and Guangzhou.

She added: “I think next year the target is top 20.”