Wta Nanchang: top two seeds Zhang Shuai and Qiang Wang to the last 8


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Wta Nanchang: top two seeds Zhang Shuai and Qiang Wang to the last 8

No.1 seed and top-ranked Chinese player Zhang Shuai, the oldest player in the main draw of the Jiangxi Open, reached her fourth quarterfinal of the season after she beat Russia's Margarita Gasparyan, playing her first WTA main draw of the season after an odyssey began in 2016, 6-4 6-1.

To equal her best performance this year and clinch the second semifinal after Prague, she will meet compatriot Zhu Lin who completed five breaks from seven looks to dismiss Czech Tereza Martincova 6-2 6-3 for the second time intwo meetings (Martincova had to retire after four games at Wimbledon a couple of years ago).

Zhang fired 30 winners to 28 unforced errors in the match and was the first to stop a streak of five consecutive breaks in the first set to hold to 5-4 and use her aggressive forehand to seal the first set as Gasparyan hit long.

The second set followed a straightforward pattern as Zhang quickly produced a 4-0 lead and cruised her 16th main draw win of the season. The top seed beat Zhu in their lone previous meeting in straight sets in Washington two years ago.

No.2 seed Wang Qiang emerged victorious against fierce Uzbekistan's Sabina Sharipova, owning a 14-4 record in three-set matches this season. 6-4 3-6 6-2. Wang, who had easily beaten Sharipova in Tianjin in 2015, delivered 41 winners to Sharipova's 37 and won 76% of first serve points to seal her second quarterfinal of the season.

Wang, bidding for her first WTA final at home in China, will face a compatriot in the quarterfinal, either No.8 seed Xinyun Han or Fangzhou Liu, both aiming to extend her 8-2 record in their last 10 matches against Chinese opponents.

Han leads her head-to-head with Liu 4-2, but the world No.149 won their most recent meeting, in qualifying in Shenzhen last year. Wang completed the only break of the first set at 2-2 and sealed the set with 10 winners to Sharipova’s eight as the Uzbek hit a backhand long.

Sharipova rebounded in the second set, gaining a 3-0, then 4-2, lead. She held to love at 5-2 and she served out the set. But Wang cracked as she broke to 3-1 and won her fifth decider out of nine played this season finishing the match with a backhand volley.

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