NANCHANG, China - Unseeded Zhu Lin ousted top seed Zhang Shuai in the quarterfinals of the Jiangxi Open on Friday in a marathon upset, 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-1.
Despite over 100 places between them in the rankings, it was the younger Chinese player who scored a mammoth victory in over two-and-a-half hours, running away with the match in the final set after the pair split the first two.
"I'm very happy right now. It was a very tough match for both of us," Zhu said after the match. "We both played great and she's a great player. It's very tought to beat her and I'm so happy I did it today."
Zhu hung tough with the World No.32 from the baseline over the course of the grueling encounter, as she struck just one less winner than her higher-ranked compatriot (33 to 34).
However, it was the World No.137's consistency which helped see her over the finish line, as she took advantage of 50 unforced errors and eight doubles faults from Zhang's racquet, which helped her convert six of the 12 break points she held in the match.
The 24-year-old from Wuxi, China will contest her second career WTA semifinal against the winner of Friday's last quarterfinal between No.6 seed Zheng Saisai and qualifier Xun Fang Ying.
Zhu last reached a semifinal - her only appearance in the final four of a WTA event to day - over two years ago in Kuala Lumpur as a qualifier, where she lost to eventual champion Elina Svitolina.
More to come...