In the battle of the players barely ranked inside the top-100, Magda Linette defeated Monica Niculescu 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in two hours and 30 minutes to secure the place in the quarters. Back in Beijing 2014, Niculescu lost just one game against the Pole and she was off to a good start today as well, winning the opening set before suffering five breaks in the rest of the match to push Linette into the last eight.
Magda lost serve four times before she found the rhythm in the closing stages of the second set, scoring two straight breaks and never looking back in the decider. Niculescu gave the serve away six times from seven opportunities Linette created, unable to match rival's pace in set number three and finishing on the losing side.
The Romanian opened a 5-1 lead and despite one break she suffered it was enough for a 6-4 following a hold at love in that tenth game. They traded breaks at the start of the second set and this time it was Linette who played better tennis in the deciding moments, securing breaks in games six and eight before sealing it with a hold at love that sent the action into a decider.
There, Magde lost just four points on serve and she earned breaks in games three and seven to safely reach the next round. In the all-Chinese battle, Yafan Wang had to spend only 22 minutes on the court, leading 4-1 when the 5th seed Shuai Zhang was forced to retire, feeling sick since the start of the match after losing 16 of the last 20 points.
In a much tighter encounter, Viktorija Golubic toppled Yingying Duan 7-6, 7-5 in an hour and 52 minutes, fending off nine out of 12 break points to limit the damage in her games and converting four out of six chances on the return to seal the deal in straight sets, just under two hours of play.
Viktorija led 4-1 in the opener before losing the advantage, having to save a couple of break points to stay on the positive side of the scoreboard at 5-5 before claiming the tie break 7-4. The Swiss won the opening three games of the second set but instead of racing towards the finish line she lost the next four games, working hard in the rest of the set and securing another lead with a break at 5-5 before clinching the triumph with a hold at 15 a few minutes later.
In the most exciting match of the day, Tamara Zidansek took down a qualifier Jennifer Brady 6-3, 0-6, 7-6 in two hours and 20 minutes, wasting a 5-0 lead in the decider and fending off two match points in the tie break before prevailing 11-9.
After losing the opening set, Brady bounced back to dominate in the second, serving a bagel and building the momentum before the decider. Nonetheless, Zidansek started all over in set number three to move 5-0 up, creating three match points at 5-1.
Brady fought them off to score a break and prolong the match, scoring another one in game nine to erase the deficit and reach the tie break where she had two match points up for grabs at 6-4. Zidansek repelled those and she finally sealed the deal on her seventh match point, taking the breaker 11-9 to move into the last eight despite winning seven points less than her opponent. Second round results:
Magda Linette (POL) vs Monica Niculescu (ROU) 4-6 6-3 6-2
Yafan Wang (CHN) vs Shuai Zhang (CHN) 4-1 Ret.
Viktorija Golubic (SUI) vs [Q]Yingying Duan (CHN) 7-6(4) 7-5
Tamara Zidansek (SLO) vs [Q]Jennifer Brady (USA) 6-3 0-6 7-6(9)