Zhengzhou Open: Local hope Qinwen Zheng takes a firm step into the last-eight!

Jasmine Paolini and Lesia Tsurenko scripted the exit of seeds in the draw

by Abbey Johnson
Zhengzhou Open: Local hope Qinwen Zheng takes a firm step into the last-eight!
© Lintao Zhang/ Getty Images

Wednesday was a day of upsets at the Zhengzhou Open. Qinwen Zheng was the player who led this trend of upsets at home, in the WTA 500. Zheng pocketed a straight-sets win over world no. 6 Maria Sakkari, 7-6(2), 6-3 in a match that ended 11 minutes shy of two hours.

While Zheng hit 13 aces, Sakkari had just one. Zheng was also the player who finished with more double faults in the match – five to the Greek’s two. The aces Zheng, China’s highest-ranked women’s singles player hit, also accounted for a significant portion of the winners she hit.

She hit 30 winners in total. Zheng also saved five of six break points she faced. The only time she lost her serve in the match was in the first set. Sakkari, however, lost her serve twice – once in each set – that eventually accounted for her defeat in the clash.

Zhengzhou Open: Ukrainians, Jasmine Paolini impress

Anhelina Kalinina will be Zheng’s opponent in the quarters. The Ukrainian put an end to Vera Zvonareva’s inspired run in the tournament by posting a 7-5, 6-1 win over the two-time former Grand Slam finalist.

Kalinina needed 95 minutes for the win. Kalinina’s compatriot, Lesia Tsurenko joined her in the quarter-finals. Tsurenko brought about the end of 10th seed Donna Vekic in the tournament. After two hours and 14 minutes and two tie-breaks later, Tsurenko claimed a 7-6(4), 7-6(2) win.

Tsurenko awaits either seed Barbora Krejcikova or Petra Martic for a chance to make it to the semis. Lastly, Jasmine Paolini produced a rousing win over sixth-seeded Caroline Garcia. Paolini needed to save a handful of match points in the 10th game of the deciding set before she was able to get the win for herself, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.

This was the second time in 2023 Paolini was facing Garcia. Back in February, Paolini had lost in the quarter-finals of the Lyon Open to the French player. The Zhengzhou Open quarters’ the fourth such time the world no. 31’s made it this far in a WTA event.

Qinwen Zheng Jasmine Paolini Lesia Tsurenko