Ashleigh Barty of Australia returns the ball during the singles third round match against Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland at 2017 WTA Wuhan Open in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, on Sept. 27, 2017. Ashleigh Barty won 2-1. (Xinhua/Mao Siqian)
By Sportswriter Spencer Musick
WUHAN, China, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- Round three of action here at the Dongfeng Motors Wuhan Open started out with yet another major upset in what has become a jungle of a stop on the WTA tour.
The day's action began with Polish 9th seed Agnieszka Radwanska crashing out in a stunning 4-6, 6-0, 6-4 loss to No. 37 Australian Ashleigh Barty.
Barty has been playing breakthrough tennis on the tour this year, and she demonstrated an ability to get into her opponent's head even as Radwanksa more or less controlled the proceedings on the court during the first set, bringing her to deuce six times in one game and storming to a two point lead before the Pole managed to get things back on track to take the set 6-4.
But the second set was a different story entirely. Barty's massive hits and full court play proved too much for Radwanska and allowed her to dominate the set without allowing the Pole a single point.
Radwanska was able to fight back in the third set, but not convincingly enough to change the course of the match.
Barty will meet Czech third-seed Karolina Pliskova in the quarterfinals, who needed only 48 minutes to clobber China's Wang Qiang to move into the last eight in this afternoon's action on court.
Unlike Barty's win over Radwanska, there was never any doubt in Pliscova's match, with the Czech breaking Wang's service game 4 times on the way to a domineering 6-2, 6-1 victory.
"I felt great today, I think it was the perfect match from the first point. I'm really happy," Pliscova beamed on court after the match.
Pliscova goes on to meet Barty in the quarterfinals, and says she expects a tough match against the player who ousted powerhouse Radwanska earlier in the day.
"I think tough. I saw little bit how she was playing today. I think she was playing very well...She's enjoying the tennis more. You could see on the court. She's having some good matches behind her, so it's going to be tough," Pliscova predicted.
Wang, for her part, said that the combined fatigue of taking out Sloane Stephens and playing again in a doubles match took a toll on her today.
"On the first day I was in my best form, but I played a doubles match after winning against Stephens, which made me tired," Wang said.
"Pliscova is a top 5 player, so I didn' t give myself too much pressure before the match. She played pretty well today, and it was a fast-paced match," Wang added.
Wang' s loss ends the hopes of home fans here at the Optics Valley Tennis center, with no Chinese entrants remaining in the running.
Gabrine Muguruza is also through to the quarterfinals with a three-set win over Polish qualifier Magda Linette, 6-2, 1-6, 6-4.
Muguruza displayed an aggressive backhand that allowed her to seize control of the first set, but the second was a much tenser affair as Linette adeptly moved around the court and answered her opponents shots.
"I think the second set I didn't play well. I did way too many mistakes. I was playing perfect for her. I think she increase her level. You know, she found a way to right away put her in control. That's what happened," Muguruza said after the match.
Although Linette put up enough of a fight to make her Spanish opponent fight for it in the third, in the end she was unable to overcome Muguruza's powerful backhand and ceded the last set 6-4.
Muguruza has set up a quarterfinal clash with Jelena Ostapenko, who earlier in the day ousted Puerto Rican qualifier Monica Puig in a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 showdown that almost saw Ostapenko knocked off her balance several times in the hard-fought second set.
In other action, an all-Russian showdown saw Ekaterina Makarova take out Daria Kasatkina in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.
Makarova goes on to meet France's Caroline Garcia in the quarterfinals, who stunned yet another top player in a 6-3, 7-5 win over 7th-seed Dominika Cibulková.
France's Alize Cornet eliminated Varvara Lepchenko of the United States, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. Cornet set up a clash with Greek Maria Sakkari, who edged Elena Vesnina of the Czech Republic a nail-biter, 7-6 (6), 7-5.