Gavrilova through to China WTA quarters

Australia’s Daria Gavrilova will be out to continue her strong record against dangerous Ukrainian Elina Svitolina when they meet in the quarter-finals of the China Open.

Gavrilova moved into the final eight in Beijing with a commanding 6-4 6-3 win over France’s Caroline Garcia, while Svitolina upset world No.1 Angelique Kerber 6-3 7-5.

The world No.49, Gavrilova has beaten Svitolina in their three previous meetings in 2016, including at the Hopman Cup.

Svitolina saved nine of 10 break points in the opening set, six of them coming in a topsy-turvy ninth game before unleashing a forehand winner past the stranded Australian Open and US Open champion to seize the first set after 45 minutes.

The 16th seed, who stunned former world No.1 Serena Williams at the Rio Olympics, rallied from an early loss of serve in the second set to break the German twice more on her way to a fourth win against a top-10 opponent in 2016.

“I was just trying to be really focused on every ball, and of course try to win,” Svitolina told the WTA’s website.

“I was trying to think about my next step, what I should try to do. I tried to make my first serve and concentrated on the next shot, but still I was a little bit shaky.”

In other results, local hope Zhang Shuai became the first Chinese woman to reach the quarter-finals since 2013, crushing fourth seed Simona Halep 6-0 6-3.

Zhang coasted to victory in just under an hour against the world No.5, who was let down by her serve.

The unseeded Zhang, who broke through with a stunning run to the quarter-finals in this year’s Australian Open, will face Britain’s Johanna Konta, who battled past US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova 6-1 3-6 7-6 (7-2).

Third seed Agnieszka Radwanska safely negotiated a tricky tie against former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki, winning 6-3 6-1 to secure a quarter-final berth.

The Pole will next face either Alize Cornet or Yaroslava Shvedova, whose third-round match was postponed until Friday due to rain.

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