x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Ivanovic eases into quarter finals in Beijing

Ana Ivanovic eased past the French teenager Alize Cornet 6-1 7-6 to reach the China Open quarter-finals, while China's Zheng Jie thrashed Japan's Ai Sugiyama.

Ana Ivanovic advnces to the last eight of the China Open.
Ana Ivanovic advnces to the last eight of the China Open.

BEIJING // World number four Ana Ivanovic eased past the French teenager Alize Cornet 6-1 7-6 to reach the China Open quarter-finals today, while China's Zheng Jie delighted home fans by thrashing Japan's Ai Sugiyama. The 20-year-old Serb needed only 30 minutes to close out the first set against Cornet and broke early in the second to race to a 3-1 lead. The 18-year-old Frenchwoman broke Ivanovic's serve twice to fight her way back into the match but ultimately wilted under pressure when serving for the set at 6-5.

Ivanovic attacked Cornet's serve furiously to break back and then steam-rolled the world number 19 in the tie-break 7-1. She faces a quarter-final meeting with Zheng, who knocked her out of Wimbledon this year on the way to becoming the first Chinese to make a grand slam singles semi-final. "I think I can play better this time," Ivanovic said after the game. "I didn't prepare in particular for (Zheng) but I think it should be a tough match."

Zheng trounced Sugiyama 6-1 6-2 to the delight of the small but vocal home crowd, a match she had brooded on for four years after being beaten by the Japanese 33-year-old at the Athens Olympic Games. "It was a shame to lose at Athens ... I said to myself I'm definitely going to beat her next time," said 25-year-old Zheng. Russia's Vera Zvonareva advanced to a quarter-final against Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain after beating Francesca Schiavone of Italy 7-6 6-2.

Slovak Dominika Cibulkova, who upset eighth seed Anna Chakvetadze 6-3 6-2, will face fourth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia in the last eight. *Reuters