No.3 seed Karolina Pliskova cruised through to the last eight at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open with a victory over Wang Qiang.
WTA Staff
September 27, 2017

WUHAN, China - No.3 seed Karolina Pliskova ended Wang Qiang's bid to become the first Chinese player to reach the quarterfinals at the Dongfeng Motor Open in Wuhan on Wednesday, powering through to a 6-2, 6-1 victory.

Wang was unable to produce some of the magic which saw her defeat US Open champion Sloane Stephens in the opening round in Wednesday's third round encounter, as the former World No.1 broke serve four times and never faced a break point en route to a dominant 48-minute victory.

It was the second win for Pliskova over a Chinese player this week, after she defeated Zhang Shuai in her first match, and she'll face Ashleigh Barty with a spot in the semifinals on the line.

"I felt great today. I think my tennis, I was just feeling every shot, my backhand, my forehand, even the serve. There were not many matches in this year like this," Pliskova said after the match.

"It's just good to have these kind of matches in the year. Obviously you have tough matches, but sometimes you need an easy one as well. That was today.

"This was one of the best matches this year. No matter the opponent, no matter the tournament, I just felt great today. Maybe the match what I was playing yesterday quite helped me as well to go through the tough points and tough games. That's why I felt that good today."

A stunning display from the World No.4 saw her strike 23 winners to just seven unforced errors, as she overwhelmed Wang with both pinpoint accuracy and power from the baseline.

Having lost seven straight matches against Top 10 players, Wang stayed with Pliskova in the early games of the match, but surrendered serve at love to fall behind 3-1 in the opening set.

The Czech never lost her advantage after that point, and wrapped up the first set with her second break of the match in the eighth game.

"I told myself in the second game it's going to be tough because I felt like she was playing pretty fast, and was not missing much from the baseline," Pliskova said of her Chinese foe. "Then it changed quickly. I think she's really solid from the baseline as well."

The second set proved more of the same for the No.3 seed, who broke serve twice more and won 20 of the last 22 points to cruise through to the last eight.

Three of the last four games not only went Pliskova's way in the match, but did so in emphatic fashion at love to help the Czech reach her second career quarterfinal in Wuhan. 

Pliskova and Barty have split their two career meetings on grass, both of which have come in Nottingham over the course of the past five years. Barty earned a three-set victory over Agnieszka Radwanska earlier on Wednesday.

Barty won the first encounter between the two back in 2012, but Pliskova owns the more recent victory, a two-set triumph in two tiebreaks in the quarterfinals last year.

"I saw little bit how she was playing today. I think she was playing very well. Obviously my style is different than Radwanska. Hopefully I'll play the game what she doesn't like," Pliskova said. "We played last time in Nottingham. It was pretty close and was on the grass. I think she improved since that time. She's enjoying the tennis more. You could see on the court."

"She's having some good matches behind her, so it's going to be tough. I think I have the game to beat her."