Two more Top 10 seeds fell Thursday at the Premier Mandatory event in Beijing. World No. 4 Karolina Pliskova was shocked by former Top 25 Sorana Cirstea 6-1, 7-5.
“I didn’t think about her ranking, I just focused on my game today,” said Cirstea. “I’ve been playing well lately, it’s just that probably results didn’t come as quick as I hoped. But I was working well lately, and doing the right things, and I always say that hard work will pay off in the end.”
In her last 9 matches, Pliskova is just 5-4. The Czech was up 5-2, 40-0 in the second but couldn’t force a third.
Cirstea moves on to meet French Open champ Jelena Ostapenko in the Friday quarterfinals. The Latvian earned a retirement from Peng Shuai.
“She’s a great player; she’s been playing really, really good lately, especially here in Asia,” Cirstea said of Ostapenko. “Again, I have to bring my best tomorrow, and to try and play my game aggressive, and at the end we’ll see who’s the better one.”
Also falling was the 6th-ranked Caroline Wozniacki who lost to Petra Kvitova 6-1, 6-4.
“I think it was a pretty good match from my side,” said Kvitova. “I didn’t really made any easy mistakes or unforced errors or whatever. My serve helped me a lot, as well. It was improving all the match. Especially from the second set, I really attacked her.
“Caroline has a great record this year, she’s playing unbelievable. That’s how I was preparing for the match, it will be not easy. I know how tough is to play her. It’s a lot of rallies. It’s nothing really easy from her. That’s how I went there.”
Kvitova will meet countryman Barbora Strycova tomorrow.
“Probably it’s always extra motivation to play some of the Czech girls,” Kvitova said. “But on the other hand we are pretty friends. We play Fed Cup. We won many times already. We have a good friendship anyway.
“It will be difficult tomorrow, for sure. Barbora has to play well, otherwise she’s not in the quarterfinals. That’s how I going to take it. I hope I will show some good tennis tomorrow.”
No. 3 seed Elina Svitolina advanced after she beat Elena Vesnina. She’ll meet Caroline Garcia. And in the other quarterfinal Friday, Simona Halep collides with Daria Kasatkina.
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