The rising Czech Marketa Vondrousova is through to the quarter-final in Istanbul following a 6-4, 6-3 triumph over the veteran Svetlana Kuznetsova in swift 78 minutes, beating the Russian for the first time in two matches.
It wasn't the best performance from Marketa, though, losing almost half of the points behind the initial shot and getting broken four times, having to work hard on the return to erase that deficit and get in front of the rival who is making a comeback after injury.
That's precisely what happened, with Vondrousova storming over Kuznetsova in the return games, taking 60% of the points and breaking her seven times from ten opportunities. Marketa opened a 5-2 lead with three breaks in a row, losing serve in game eight and wasting a set point on the return at 5-3 before sealing the opener with a hold at 15 in game ten.
The youngster claimed staggering 18 out of 25 points in the return games in set number two, delivering four straight breaks to march towards the finish line and enter the quarters. The 6th seed Petra Martic needed two hours and 15 minutes to oust a qualifier Ana Bogdan 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, giving serve away seven times and securing nine breaks of serve to cross the finish line first and stay on the title course.
The match kicked off with four straight breaks and we saw another three in the closing games, with Bogdan earning four return games in total for a 6-4. The Romanian was sailing towards the finish line when she forged a 3-1 advantage in set number two before Martic took charge, finding her range to rattle off four straight games and move 5-3 up.
Serving for the set, the Croat was broken at 5-4 and that couldn't take away the focus off from her, winning eight of the last nine points for a 7-5 and a deciding set. Three breaks of serve in the final set were enough for Petra to advance and boo the place in the quarters against Kristina Mladenovic.
After a heroic Fed Cup doubles win on Sunday that sent France into the final, Mladenovic has been playing great tennis in Istanbul as well, ousting a qualifier Kateryna Kozlova 6-1, 6-2 in 71 minutes in their first meeting on the Tour.
The Ukrainian did grab two breaks but that was never enough against the strong performance on the return from Kristina who won 16 out of 17 points on Kozlova's second serve to create eight chances and convert six, three in each set, to control the scoreboard from start to finish.
A qualifier Veronika Kudermetova took down a lucky loser Timea Babos 6-0, 7-6 in an hour and 32 minutes, suffering four breaks but delivering some impressive numbers on the return to go through in straight sets before the roller coaster in set number two.
The Russian took the opener in just over 20 minutes and moved 5-2 up with four consecutive breaks in set number two before Timea fended off four match points and leveled the score at 5-5. Her efforts were in vain, though, losing the tie break 7-4 to send Veronika over the top and finish the campaign in the second round.