Margarita Gasparyan seeks to keep her seven-match winning streak alive while Barbora Strycova continues her title defence as the Upper Austria Ladies Linz quarterfinals get under way. Scroll down for full order of play.
Alex Macpherson
October 12, 2018

MATCH POINTS

Tashkent champion Margarita Gasparyan notched up her first Top 10 win over Kiki Bertens yesterday, and is now on a winning streak of seven matches - her longest ever at Tour level. Her quarterfinal against Camila Giorgi is a rematch of their second-round tilt here in Linz in 2015, their only previous encounter, which the Russian took 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.

Two of defending champion Barbora Strycova's previous three meetings with Alison Van Uytvanck took place in Luxembourg, also on indoor hard courts. The Belgian won the most recent of those, in the 2015 quarterfinals, 6-4, 6-4, though Strycova leads the overall head-to-head 2-1.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova is competing in her fourth quarterfinal of the year today, following Stuttgart, a title run in Strasbourg and Wuhan. If the Russian beats compatriot Ekaterina Alexandrova in their first meeting, she will come out of a tournament with a positive win-loss record for the first time in 2018, with at least 20-19 in WTA main draws.

Ekaterina Alexandrova reached her maiden WTA quarterfinal three weeks ago in Seoul - and has backed it up with her second here. The Russian is the last qualifier standing; since the tournament became an International event in 2009, 14 qualifiers or lucky losers have reached this stage, and only twice (2009, 2013) has the last eight not featured at least one qualifier. Alexandrova is bidding to become the fifth qualifier to reach the semifinals since 2009, following Kirsten Flipkens (2012), Irina-Camelia Begu (a lucky loser in 2012), Anna-Lena Friedsam (2014) and Mihaela Buzarnescu (2017).

Wildcard Andrea Petkovic dominates her head-to-head against Kristina Mladenovic 5-0, including their only indoor hard court encounter (their very first meeting, in Paris in 2014, 6-4, 6-2) and their most recent tilt (in the first round of Roland Garros this year 7-6(10), 6-2). Petkovic has dropped just one set to Mladenovic in those meetings.

All three WTA tournaments this week feature one quarterfinalist who entered using a protected ranking: Margarita Gasparyan here in Linz, Kristina Kucova in Hong Kong and Timea Bacsinszky in Tianjin.

Kristina Mladenovic's run this week marks just the sixth time the Frenchwoman has won back-to-back main draw matches this year following St. Petersburg, Acapulco, Madrid, Wimbledon and Cincinnati. The first of those, where she was runner-up in St. Petersburg, is the only time in 2018 that Mladenovic has won three matches in a row.



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ORDER OF PLAY

CENTRE COURT (starts 2pm)
Alison VAN UYTVANCK vs Barbora STRYCOVA (CZE) [3]
Camila GIORGI (ITA) [5] vs Margarita GASPARYAN (RUS)
Not before 5pm
[WC] Andrea PETKOVIC (GER) vs Kristina MLADENOVIC (FRA)
Not before 6.30pm
[Q] Ekaterina ALEXANDROVA (RUS) vs Anastasia PAVLYUCHENKOVA (RUS) [6]
Raquel ATAWO (USA) / Anna-Lena GROENEFELD (GER) [1] vs Irina BARA (ROU) / Xenia KNOLL (SUI) [4]