GUANGZHOU, China - World No.116 Yanina Wickmayer scored the biggest upset of the tournament so far to knock out top seed Peng Shuai in straight sets at the Guangzhou Open, 6-4, 6-4.
“Of course it’s a good win for me,” Wickmayer said afterwards. “[Peng] is a tough player, tough opponent. I’ve always had tough matches against her so I’m happy with the win.
“I’m especially happy since it’s been quite a tough year - a lot of injuries and a lot of tough losses. Every win is really good for me and makes me really happy. I’m very excited to be still in and still playing.”
The win sends Wickmayer into her second WTA quarterfinal of the year, having reached this stage earlier in the season at Budapest.
Against the 2008 finalist Peng, Wickmayer played more solid on the bigger points. One break of serve made the difference in the first set, with the Belgian getting ahead early at 2-1 and going on to bat away five of Peng’s opportunities to get the break back. After starting out the second by trading breaks, Wickmayer soared ahead to score the decisive break at 3-2 and close out the match after an hour and 26 minutes on court.
Despite already notching two solid wins in Guangzhou, Wickmayer admitted that she’s still struggling to the heavy summer climate of southern China.
“It’s tough conditions - it’s very humid and hot during the day, but it’s the same for everyone and we’re all trying to adjust in the best way possible and recover however we can.”
Up next she’ll take on the No.6 seed Alize Cornet, who fought through a 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-3 rollercoaster against Danka Kovinic to make her way into the quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, Zhang Shuai continued her Guangzhou hot streak against Ipek Soylu. The No.2 seeded Chinese player needed just 54 minutes to score a 6-0, 6-0 victory, making her way into the quarterfinals having dropped just one game across four sets.
“I played really well today, I didn't get such score very often,” Zhang said after the match. “I don't think top seeds will necessarily have easy wins over lower-ranked players.
“I don't want to think too far into the future, I just wanted to try my best for each match.”
It wasn’t a good day for the rest of the Chinese contingent, though, with three local players going out in straight sets on Wednesday: Rebecca Peterson took down qualifier Zhang Kai-Lin, 6-3, 6-0; Evgeniya Rodina eased past Wang Yafan, 6-1, 6-2; and Kateryna Kozlova scored a comprehensive 6-0, 6-0 win over Han Xinyun, 6-0, 6-0.
Rounding out the quarterfinals are Aleksandra Krunic, who moved past Mona Barthel, 6-4, 6-0; and 19-year-old Aussie qualifier Lizette Cabrera, who scored a career milestone by stunning No.3 Anett Kontaveit, 6-0, 7-5, to reach her career-first WTA quarterfinal.