No.5 seed Yulia Putintseva put an end t Sabine Lisicki's comeback in the second round of the Guangzhou International Women's Open with a 6-3 6-3 win. German fans found something to cheer about as Andrea Petkovic defeated Yafan Wang 6-4 7-6(5) while No.6 seed Viktoria Kuzmova and No.8 seed Saisai Zheng failed to reach the quarter-finals.
Putintseva hadn't won a single match in two previous appearances in Guangzhou but she claimed the 85th WTA main draw career win to claim her fourth quarter-final of the season after Taipei City, Roland Garros and Washington.
Lisicki, who beat Zvonareva in her first main draw match since February, suffered the eighth loss in her past 10 matches. She collected the opening break to 3-1 but her inconsistencies made the difference against the Kazakh.
Putintseva remained focused, played a solid match and came a win away from her first WTA semifinal since 2017 St. Petersburg. She will meet Kateryna Kozlova, who received a walkover from Jennifer Brady due to a right ankle injury, bidding to avenge the defeat suffered in the lone previous meeting, at Taipei City quarter-finals earlier this year.
Fiona Ferro completed her first victory since an ITF event in Santa Margherita di Pula in March 2017 after losing a set 6-0. The world No.124 put 37% of first serves on court in the opening set but she became more consistent during the rest of the match.
Ferro, who won a single WTA match before this week, will meet the No.3 seed Qiang Wang bidding to clinch the maiden WTA semifinal and climb into the top 100 for the first time in her career. Wang upset Svetlana Kuznetsova 62 62 in 66 minutes.
The Chinese completed her 21st win of the season to move to the fourth quarter-final of the season as she lost to Barty in Strasbourg, moved to the semifinals in Hiroshima and clinched the title in Nanchang. Wang had six easy holds and sealed five breaks from seven looks, facing just a single breakpoint chance throughout the match.
Wang, who has not faced Fierro in her career, could improve her career-high rank and gain a Top 40 status for the first time. Andrea Petkovic saved two set points in the first set and improved to 5-7 her tiebreak record this year to reach the second quarter-final this year.
She will face Vera Lapko to move to the second WTA semifinal of the season after Washington (lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2 6-2). The German, who won 67% of second serve points, will face Vera Lapko aiming to seal the second victory in two career meetings.
Lapko got six breaks to defeat qualifier Deniz Khazaniuk 62 75. The Belarusian won two ITF titles this season and previously she had broken through to first WTA semifinal in Lugano, defeating No.28 Kontaveit en route for career-best win to date (l.Mertens).