Zheng downs Sakkari to secure quarterfinal spot

China’s Qinwen Zheng delighted home fans at the Bank of Communications Zhengzhou Open on Wednesday by defeating third seed Maria Sakkari to book her place in the quarterfinals of the WTA 500 event.

Unseeded Zheng notched up her fifth win over a top 10 player by taking out Greece’s world No.6 Sakkari 76(2) 63 at the Henan Provincial Stadium Center.

The 21-year-old has been in impressive form of late, taking the gold medal at the Asian Games and has transferred that form to the WTA Tour.  It was Zheng’s first defeat of Sakkari in three meetings and the victory sets up a quarterfinal showdown with Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina, who defeated Vera Zvonareva 75 61.  Zheng and Kalinina have met twice previously, both matches in 2021 and both resulting in victories for the Ukrainian.

Qinwen Zheng said:
“I am super happy.  If I put a score of one to ten I say six because I lost to her two times before but I’m really happy to beat her because she’s a really good player.  It was a big win for me because it’s important to beat a player you have lost to many times before to break through for some of the points.”

On her form in the match
“I felt really comfortable on the court and I got a great serve tonight so I’m really happy with my performance today.”

On the support of the home crowd
“It was a huge difference because it’s the first year finally I can play at home.  I feel all the energy on my side, I wish I can use that every time to help me perform better.”

Garcia falls to Paolini
France’s Caroline Garcia was another top seed to suffer defeat on Wednesday as Italy’s Jasmine Paolini overcame a 0-4 head-to-head record to win a three set battle 36 64 75.

Jasmine Paolina said:
“It was tough.  I’ve lost to Caroline four times so it was really tough.  She’s serving so well, playing close to the baseline and the ball is coming fast but I think I did a really good job, I served pretty well, I stayed focused on the match.  I think I got experience from the matches that I lost and I tried to do something better and it worked, so I’m really happy.”

Lesia Tsurenko became the fourth unseeded player to progress to the quarterfinals with victory over tenth seed Donna Vekic 76(4) 76(2).

Please find Thursday‘s Order of Play below.

For all the scores, results, draws and info from Zhengzhou, CLICK HERE


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