Paszek reaches Guangzhou quarters
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:02
Paszek came into this Tier III hardcourt event in fine form, having picked off top-seeded Daniela Hantuchova, number three Flavia Pennetta and seventh seed Sara Errani en route to the final in Bali last weekend.
The 17-year-old lost the Bali championship match to Patty Schnyder, but jumped from 85th to 63rd in the rankings and appears to be building momentum for what could be a breakthrough season in 2009.
Paszek, who won the first and only title of her career in Portoroz at age 15, will be challenged in the quarter-finals by third seed Zheng Jie.
Backed by the partisan crowd, Zheng rolled past Ioana Raluca Olaru 6-4 6-0 to reach her first quarter-final since making a remarkable run to the final four at Wimbledon.
The 25-year-old – who missed the final seven months of 2007 due to a serious ankle injury – has surged from 133rd to 33rd in the rankings over the past three months, but remains without a title since winning her third in August 2006.
Top-seeded Vera Zvonareva stayed on course for her fifth championship match of the year, knocking off Xu Yi-Fan of China 6-1 7-6 (7/4).
The ninth-ranked Russian has played in finals at Hobart, Doha and Charleston this season, winning her lone title of 2008 in Prague. Her next hurdle en route to another final is unseeded Italian Karin Knapp, who advanced on Wednesday with an upset of eighth-seeded Mariya Koryttseva.
Thursday’s other second-round surprise came courtesy of Dutch qualifier Arantxa Rus, who defeated fifth-seeded Argentine Gisela Dulko 6-4 6-4 to set up a last-eight showdown with Frenchwoman Camille Pin.
There was no upset for fourth-seeded Peng Shuai, as the local favourite got past wild card Lu Jingjing 6-3 6-4 in an all-Chinese match-up. Jill Craybas, the lone American in the draw, will face Peng in the quarters.