No.3 seed Belinda Bencic has a 2-1 head-to-head lead over qualifier Kirsten Flipkens, including their last two meetings - both also on indoor hard courts. Bencic had to save a match point before winning 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(7) in the first round of Linz in 2017, but won 6-1, 6-3 in the second round of Luxembourg this time last year. Flipkens' sole win in the series was a 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 battle in the first round of New Haven in 2016; the Belgian is bidding for her sixth career Top 10 victory, and first since beating Venus Williams in the first round of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.
No.2 seed Kiki Bertens' only previous encounter with Kristina Mladenovic came in the 2016 Fed Cup semifinals on clay in Trélazé, France. Bertens would put the Netherlands up 2-1 with victory in a 7-5, 6-4 singles rubber, but Mladenovic would partner with Caroline Garcia to defeat Bertens and Richel Hogenkamp 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the decisive doubles rubber.
No.8 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova has yet to drop a set to Karolina Muchova in two previous meetings, defeating the Czech 6-2, 6-4 in the first round of the 2015 Prerov ITF 15K on clay and 6-1, 6-3 in the final of the 2016 Trnava ITF 10K on indoor hard courts. Alexandrova has won 24 of her last 28 matches indoors since last October: a maiden WTA final at Linz 2018 as a qualifier, the biggest title of her career to date at the 2018 Limoges 125K, a first Premier quarterfinal in St Petersburg as a qualifier and semifinals in Budapest and Linz last week.
An all-Russian quarterfinal derby pits 2014 champion Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova - the only former Moscow winner remaining in the draw - against Veronika Kudermetova for the third time this year. The compatriots have split two previous three-setters in China, with Kudermetova winning 6-2, 1-6, 6-2 in the second round of Shenzhen in January and Pavlyuchenkova gaining a 6-0, 3-6, 7-6(4) revenge in the first round of Beijing three weeks ago. Kudermetova is contesting her eighth quarterfinal of a season in which the 22-year-old has risen into the Top 50 from outside the Top 100 - but first at Premier level.
Kiki Bertens and Belinda Bencic remain in the hunt for the final spot at the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen, with both needing a final to pass Serena Williams, who is currently in eighth place; wins by both today would set up a semifinal that ensures the winner will pass Williams.
ORDER OF PLAY
CENTRE COURT (starts 12 noon)
Kristina MLADENOVIC (FRA) vs  Kiki BERTENS (NED)
[Q] Kirsten FLIPKENS (BEL) vs [3/WC] Belinda BENCIC (SUI)
After 1 ATP match, not before 6.30pm
Veronika KUDERMETOVA (RUS) vs Anastasia PAVLYUCHENKOVA (RUS)
COURT 1 (starts 12 noon)
Shuko AOYAMA (JPN) / Ena SHIBAHARA (JPN) vs  Gabriela DABROWSKI (CAN) / Katerina SINIAKOVA (CZE)
After 1 ATP match, not before 4.30pm
Karolina MUCHOVA (CZE) vs  Ekaterina ALEXANDROVA (RUS)
COURT 2 (starts 1pm)
After 1 ATP match, not before 2pm
 Timea BABOS (HUN) / Kristina MLADENOVIC (FRA) vs  Kirsten FLIPKENS (BEL) / Bethanie MATTEK-SANDS (USA)