"It's great to have the roof because we got to play," the Czech veteran said in her on-court interview. "I'm very happy to be through to the quarterfinals. It was a very tough match for me, with a lot of ups and downs, but I'm happy to get the win."
Strycova had reached the round of 16 in her last two Wuhan appearances, but was in trouble early on against Jankovic, a former No.1 overcoming an injury-prone season to reach a final at the Guangzhou International Women's Open just last week.
"You have to find the motivation all the time if you want to compete and bring a good level. The first set wasn't really the way I wanted to play. I didn't move well, so I started to move better, put more balls into the court. That helped me get my rhythm."
When you can't stand the rain...??????
...against your window! https://t.co/eOUN40H3iq
? WTA (@WTA) September 29, 2016
Strycova overcame a few moments of frustration to level the match, but Jankovic made a battle of it in the end, saving a match point in the tenth game of the decider, but ultimately succumbed on Strycova's second match point after two hours and 21 minutes.
"At the end, I was able to win a few more points than her, and that made the difference."
She has her eye on you, Domi.
Pliskova-Cibulkova underway under the roof. Winner plays Strycova tonight. pic.twitter.com/w06RFNJYOC
? WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) September 29, 2016
While Strycova struggled through three grueling sets, Cibulkova charged past Pliskova in an hour and 15 minutes, dropping just four games to keep her hopes of making her debut appearance at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global alive.
"This was my first match on Center Court against such a big-serving player. It was tough to play but I was really focused, mentally ready, and playing my good tennis. I'm really happy to be into the quarterfinals here."
The roof remained closed in Wuhan, even as the rain abated on the outer courts.
"Last week, I played in Tokyo in similar conditions, and I play at home under a closed stadium. We're professionals, so we have to be prepared to play in any situation."
Cibulkova will play Strycova for the first time, as she aims to earn as many points as possible to remain inside the Top 8 on the Road to Singapore leaderboard by week's end.
"It's going to be another tough match, a different one. Two matches in one day isn't easy, but I want to be ready for it."