On a rainy day in Hiroshima, No.5 seed Ajla Tomljanovic beat Lin Zhu and Amanda Anisimova upset No,7 seed Saisai Zheng to reach the quarter-finals in Hiroshima. The Australian hit 23 aces to the Chinese's 16 to complete a 7-5 6-4 win at the Hana-cupid Japan Women's Open.
In their first meeting, delayed for over two hours with Tomljanovic leading 4-0 in the opening set, the No.5 seed reached her fifth WTA quarter-final of the season in 99 minutes. "I’m pretty happy that I managed to get through, though I didn’t feel my best out there, with the rain and everything," WTATennis.com quoted Tomljanovic to say after the win.
Tomljanovic came off a couple of second-round exits at US Open and Cincinnati, claiming a 14-7 win-loss record in the United States this season, including a quarter-final run at Indian Wells and two WTA125K. This year, she moved to the last 8 on three different surfaces.
On hardcourt she reached in Monterrey her first WTA quarter-finals appearance since 2015 (Tokyo [Japan Open]) before falling to the eventual champion, Muguruza. Then, she claimed her second showing at that stage at a Premier-level event in San Jose (losing to eventual champion Buzarnescu), the other being 2015 Stanford.
On grass, she enjoyed her best result this season in Mallorca as a qualifier, after clinching on clay in Rabat her second career WTA singles final (she lost to Mertens) after 2015 Pattaya City (losing to Hantuchova). Bidding for her maiden tour title, Tomljanovic will face No.2 seed Su-Wei Hsieh or Mandy Minella, facing for the second time with the Taiwanese leading 1-0 in their head to head.
Amanda Anisimova claimed the first WTA quarter-final ever as she easily celebrated her ninth tour win this year, all on hardcourts. The American teenager won the vast majority of big points and saved both the break points conceded while breaking serve six times from six looks in her 6-1 6-1 victory over Zheng, the second straight success with the same score in the tournament.
The second youngest player in the Top 200, who turned 17 two weeks ago, is playing only her second WTA-level event outside the USA after her Grand Slam debut, via wildcard, at Roland Garros. Coached by father Konstantin, raised in Moscow like his wife Olga, was born in New Jersey and moved to Miami at age 3.
Anisimova, whose sister Maria played tennis at University of Pennsylvania, became the youngest player to hold a Top 10 victory in March when she upset Petra Kvitova en route to the fourth round in Indian Wells: she was the first 16-year old to reach that stage in the tournament's history since Kutuzova in 2005.
Anisimova will face Anna Karolina Schmiedlova or Viktorija Golubic, expected to come on court before the rain fell again to force the third delay today, for a place in the semifinals.