GUANGZHOU, China - The stage may not have been quite so grand, but the performance was every bit as impressive. Almost three weeks to the day that Laura Robson defeated Li Na in a coming of age display at the US Open, she repeated the trick against another of Chinese tennis' golden girls, Zheng Jie.
Unflustered by a three-hour rain delay and the suitably partisan crowd crammed inside a soggy Centre Court at the Guangzhou International Tennis Center, Robson was a picture of efficiency; early breaks in both sets laying the foundations for a surprisingly routine 63 63 win over the No.2 seed.
"Zheng Jie moves very fast and I had to play really aggressively," Robson said. "I think I am in a good shape today and played well.
"After the US Open people put more pressure and expectations on me, but I just want to focus on tennis and be a better player every time I step on court. I have confidence in myself and I believe I can achieve my goals."
Meeting Robson next will be another Chinese player, Peng Shuai, who booked her place in the last eight with a 62 61 win over qualifier Nudnina Luangnam.
"I practiced with Peng Shuai a few days ago. I feel the way she play is similar to Zheng. So I will continue to play aggressively just like I did today," Robson added.
Wednesday also saw the return to action of Yan Zi. Playing her first match on tour since giving birth to her first child, Iza, in January, former Wimbledon and Australian Open doubles champion Yan teamed up with Zhang Ling to defeat Timea Babos and Mandy Minella, 64 61.
"I am very happy to win this match, although I would not have minded if we had lost either," Yan said. "Now I just want to enjoy my tennis."
Yan has also committed to playing the upcoming China Open in Beijing and admits she has not quite yet perfected the mother-tennis player juggling act. "I didn't bring my daughter with me to Guangzhou because I don't have time to take good care of her when I play in the tournament.
"We still see each other via video chat every day, and her photo is also very popular as I have been showing it to every player I've seen this week!"