DUBAI, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Wang Qiang toppled French top player Kristina Mladenovic 6-1, 6-4 on Wednesday in the round of 16 match at the women's tournament of the 17th WTA Dubai Duty Free (DDF) Tennis Championships 2017.
After a battle of one hour and 21 minutes, Wang who just celebrated her 25th birthday on January 14, entered the quarterfinal. The final of the 2.6 million dollar women's tournament will take place on Saturday.
Wang, who ranked 76th in the world, started with a power play by advancing to a 4-0 lead. The Tianjin-born, 1.72-meter-tall Wang took the set in 20 minutes amid sunny weather and 20 degrees Celsius in the Gulf Arab emirate of Dubai.
However, the 31st-ranked Mladenovic appeared from the first minute unfocused and also a bit lackluster, losing points by making many unforced errors. "Incroyable!", she shouted on time (meaning "unbelievable" in French) when one of her long line shots landed behind the baseline on the centre court of the DDF tennis stadium.
The 23-year-old, 1.84-meter-tall French blonde, dressed in turquoise and orange colors, who has been living in income tax-free Dubai since the end of 2015, hassled with her racket which she exchanged in the middle of the first set. At the end of the second set, she smashed her racket on the ground in a sign of frustration.
Dressed in blue, Wang looked much more determined and self-controlled on the court, and kept her momentum to seal the victory without hesitation.
"I feel I played well and I played more on her forehand, according to the advice from my coach," said Qiang, "I think Kristina was tired from previous matches."
Wang said she hopes to give an example for young hopefuls in her country. "Tennis is still young in China, but I think after a few years, our Chinese players will become even better," said Qiang who lives in her hometown Tianjin.