Chinese giantkiller Zhang Shuai’s stunning run at the Australian Open has continued with a quarter-final appearance booked after beating American Madison Keys.
Qualifier Zhang was able to take advantage of a hip injury that left Keys in tears throughout the match to post a 3-6 6-3 6-3 victory.
World No. 133 Zhang will take on Briton Johanna Konta, who overcame Russian Ekaterina Makarova in a marathon three-set encounter.
The pair round out the women’s quarter-final match-ups with defending champion Serena Williams taking on last year’s finalist Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka up against No.7 seed Angelique Kerber and Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska facing Carla Suarez Navarro.
Zhang, who goes by the christian name of Rose on the WTA tour, hadn’t won a grand slam match in her previous 14 attempts dating back to 2008.
The 27-year-old said she recently contemplated retirement because of her poor run of form but had changed her mind.
“I’m ready,” she said after her win over the 15th seed who made the semi-finals at Melbourne Park last year.
“It’s bad luck for Madison with the injury but I’m lucky today.”
Keys, who originally hurt her hip in her third round win over Anna Ivanovic, started strongly but the injury started playing up early in the second set with the trainer called.
Post match she was assisted to the change-room by her coach.
Like Zhang, Konta eliminated a seed in the first round, beating Venus Williams.
Born in Sydney before moving to the UK as a teenager, Konta felt Zhang deserved more credit for her journey.
“I think Shuai Zhang is actually on a bit more of an incredible journey than myself as she won her first main draw match at a slam and I think that’s an incredibly special moment,” Konta said.
“She’s come from qualifying and I think she’s doing unbelievably well so all credit to her for that.”