Venus in China tennis last 8, Kvitova out

Roberta Vinci advanced to the quarter-finals of the Wuhan Open tennis tournament on Wednesday by beating defending champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic.

The 15th-seeded Italian defeated the two-time Wimbledon champion 7-6 (7-3) 6-2.

“Against Petra it’s always tough to play,” Vinci said.

“She’s an incredible player, she won last year here. But I played a really good match. She played so well the first few games so I tried not to think about this and focus.”

Earlier, Venus Williams beat Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-3 6-4 to reach the last eight in China.

A day after earning her 700th career victory, Williams hit five aces and saved three of four break points to dispatch seventh-seeded Navarro in one-and-a-half hours.

Williams, a seven-time major champion, won her last grand slam title in 2008 at Wimbledon.

She improves to 3-3 in her head-to-head against Navarro.

She will next face the winner of the match between top-seeded Simona Halep and Johanna Konta being played later on Wednesday.

Also, fifth-seeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain rallied to beat ninth-seeded Serb Ana Ivanovic 4-6 6-1 6-0.

Muguruza will face Slovakia’s Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in the quarter-finals. Schmiedlova beat Kristina Mladenovic of France 6-4 6-2.

The Wuhan Open has been badly hit by upsets and retirements.

Caroline Wozniacki complained of dizzy spells on Tuesday as she joined Victoria Azarenka on the long list of casualties.

A day after Maria Sharapova and Eugenie Bouchard both withdrew with injuries, Wozniacki, Azarenka and Belinda Bencic all had medical problems as the end of a long season nears.

Venus Williams became only the ninth female player in tennis history to chalk up 700 career wins when she beat Julia Goerges on Tuesday at the Wuhan Open.

The 35-year-old, still winning despite her ongoing fight with Sjogren’s Syndrome, said she had no idea she was approaching the milestone before her 6-4 6-3 victory.

“I didn’t know. I’m glad nobody told me before. I would have been a little bit nervous,” the American told reporters.

She added, with a smile, that her first thought now was how long would it take her to get to 800.

Williams, who is the oldest player at Wuhan and turned professional in 1994, when Goerges was not yet six, joins an illustrious list that also contains her sister Serena (737).

Williams was diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome, an immune system disorder, in 2011 and later switched to a vegan and raw foods diet to curb its symptoms.

This year, she won her 46th career title in Auckland and reached the Australian Open and Wimbledon quarter-finals, losing to Serena in New York.

Williams shows few signs of slowing down and said she had her sights set on next year’s Rio Olympics, where she hoped to add to her haul of four gold medals.

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