Top-seeded Zhang Shuai leads a Chinese charge in the Jiangxi Open quarterfinals.
Alex Macpherson
July 26, 2018

MATCH POINTS

For the first time in WTA history, six of the eight quarterfinalists are Chinese, with a home finalist guaranteed from the top half of the draw - which comprises Zhang Shuai, Zhu Lin, Xun Fang Ying and Zheng Saisai.

There are two first-time quarterfinalists in the last eight in Nanchang, qualifiers Xun Fang Ying and Liang En-Shuo. Liang, the Australian Open junior champion, is making her WTA debut, and is one of three 17-year-olds to have reached the last eight at a WTA tournament this week (along with Anastasia Potapova and Olga Danilovic in Moscow). The Chinese Taipei player is competing in just her 10th professional event; unranked as recently as April, she has compiled a 14-4 record so far this year, including an ITF $25,000 title in Incheon, South Korea, and will break the Top 300 on Monday.

Top-seeded Zhang Shuai won her only previous encounter against Zhu Lin 7-5, 6-4, in the first round of Washington DC in 2016. Zhu is playing her fifth WTA quarterfinal, and is bidding for her second semifinal following Kuala Lumpur 2016.

No.2 seed Wang Qiang leads the head-to-head against Liu Fangzhou 4-2, with all six previous meetings also taking place in China. Liu won their only previous match at WTA level, 6-3, 6-0 in Tianjin in 2014, but has failed to win a set from Wang otherwise (Liu scored her other paper win when Wang retired when a set up in the Shenzhen ITF $100,000 event in 2016). Wang was victorious 6-2, 6-3 in their most recent encounter, in the Zhengzhou 125K quarterfinals last year.

Two-time Guangzhou champion Zhang Shuai is the only quarterfinalist who has previously won a WTA title. Magda Linette is the only other WTA finalist, having been runner-up in Tokyo to Yanina Wickmayer in 2015. Zheng Saisai has three semifinal showings to her name (Tianjin 2014, Shenzhen 2015 and Nottingham 2016); Wang Qiang and Zhu Lin have reached one semifinal apiece (Hong Kong 2017 and Kuala Lumpur 2016 respectively).

ORDER OF PLAY

CENTRE COURT (starts 4pm)
[Q] LIANG En-Shuo (TPE) vs Magda LINETTE (POL) [3] 
LIU Fangzhou (CHN) vs WANG Qiang (CHN) [2]
[WC] ZHANG Shuai (CHN) [1] vs ZHU Lin (CHN) 
[Q] XUN Fang Ying (CHN) vs ZHENG Saisai (CHN) [6]

COURT 1 (starts 5pm)
LU Jing-Jing (CHN) / YOU Xiaodi (CHN) vs Naiktha BAINS (AUS) / YE Qiu Yu (CHN) [4]
Beatrice GUMULYA (INA) / Jessy ROMPIES (INA) vs JIANG Xinyu (CHN) / TANG Qianhui (CHN)