United Arab Emirates – China’s Zheng Qinwen, ranked No. 29 in the world, knocked out top seed Daria Kasatkina, ranked No. 8 in the world, in the quarter-finals of the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open, Shows why she is a rising star in tennis.
Also on the day, second seed Bencic, ranked ninth in the world, beat American Shelby Rodgers 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 to meet sixth seed Beatrice Haddad Maia kicks off the semi-finals.
At the International Tennis Center, 48 hours after knocking out fifth seed Irina Ostapenko, Zheng Zhi returned to the stadium court with another incredible performance against Kasatkina.
After beating Kasatkina 6-1, 6-2, the Chinese teenager clinched his place in the semi-finals by dropping only three games. He called the shots at the start and won the first set 6-1 in just 33 minutes.
Her confidence soared as the match progressed, and Kasatkina tried to find her rhythm, but she could barely interfere with Zheng’s play. At 5-2, Zheng Zhi converted her second match point to seal her place in the next round.
It was her third career win over a top-10 player, following Ons Jabeur in Toronto last year and Paula Badosa in Tokyo last year.
“I’m very happy with my performance tonight. I played well and was aggressive. It wasn’t easy because she’s a very consistent player and I’m happy to give it my best. Who am I facing next? It doesn’t matter because it’s going to be a very tough game,” she said.
Earlier in the day, Olympic champion Bencic stunned the crowd by stopping Rodgers from advancing to the next round. Both sides kept their serve in the first set, and Bencic won the tie-break. The Swiss then moved on in the second set to take a 5-2 lead before the game was sealed.
“I’m happy to get through this match. It wasn’t the prettiest match, but I’m happy to win the first set after a tense tie-break and I stayed focused until the end,” Bencic said.
Bencic will now face sixth seed Beatrice Haddad Maya, who recovered from a loss to third seed Elena Rybakina to go 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 win.
Meanwhile, in doubles, Monica Nikulescu/Kato Miyu beat Yang Zhaoxuan/Vera Zvonareva 6-1, 6-3 to advance to Saturday’s semifinals. They will face Luisa Stephanie and Zhang Shuai, while Desiree Krawchick and Julian Olmos will face Shuko Aoyama and Chen Haoqing for a place in the final.
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