The 19-year-old Dayana Yastremska earned the first top-10 victory in the third round in Wuhan, ousting world no. 2 Karolina Pliskova 6-1, 6-4 in 64 minutes. Thus, Ashleigh Varty will stay world no. 1 next week, earning more points than Pliskova after reaching the quarter-final earlier today.
The youngster had the upper hand from start to finish, firing 26 winners and 15 unforced errors, also fending off both break points she faced to mount the pressure on Pliskova who couldn't endure it, dropping 40% of the points in her games and suffering three breaks from six opportunities offered to Dayana.
The first set was over in just over 20 minutes, with Yastremska sailing through her service games and two breaks she grabbed for a 6-1. A return winner in game two pushed Dayana in front, cementing the advantage with three winners in the third game and moving 4-1 ahead with a forehand winner, earning another break in the sixth game following a double fault from Pliskova.
Serving for the set, Dayana hit three winners for a 6-1 and the best possible start of the encounter, hoping for more of the same in the rest of the clash. A return winner earned a break for the youngster in the third game of the second set, moving closer to the finish line and repelling a break point in the eighth game to remain in front.
The Czech had another opportunity for a break in the tenth game, denied by an ace from Yastremska who moved over the top with a service winner for a career-best victory and the place in the quarters. The 5th seed Petra Kvitova ousted the 10th seed Sloane Stephens 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and 12 minutes for the first win over the American, dropping 14 points in nine service games and never facing a break point.
On the other hand, Stephens had to play against eight break chances, giving serve away three times and pushing Petra into the first quarter-final since Madrid. The Czech broke twice in the opening set and forged the pivotal lead in the fourth game of the second set, delivering one good hold after another to march over the finish line and stay on the title course.
The 3rd seed Elina Svitolina bested a qualifier Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4, 6-2 in an hour and 16 minutes, getting broken twice but earning five breaks from ten chances to control the scoreboard. Svetlana fought well in the opener before losing ground in the second set, allowing Elina to grab three breaks and move over the top in style for the tenth quarter-final in 2019.
Alison Riske needed 70 minutes to dismiss the 8th seed Qiang Wang 6-2, 6-1, taking 54% of the return points and producing five breaks from 12 chances to achieve the best result since Wimbledon.