BEIJING, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- Grigor Dimitrov scored his second consecutive win over Juan Martin del Potro in a tight 7-6(6), 7-5 second round match to move into the men's singles quarterfinals, while Simona Halep notched her career first-ever win over Maria Sharapova to advance to the women's singles last eight here at the China Open on Wednesday.
Now ranked world no.8, Dimitrov is chasing a debut at the London ATP finals. After winning the first set with a closing 8-6 in the tiebreak, the Bulgarian was down a break in the second set and served at 2-5 in the eighth game. But the third seed quickly got back into his form, taking five consecutive games, including two breaks to seal the victory.
Before this season, Dimitrov had lost each of his five meetings against Del Potro. His first win over the Argentine came in August at Cincinnati, where he claimed a 6-3, 7-5 victory.
Nick Kyrgios also got a ticket to the quarterfinals, finishing with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 win over Mischa Zverev of Germany.
"I knew it was going to be tough," said Kyrgios, who fired 11 aces and converted all four of his break point opportunities in the 82-minute match.
"I got broken early in the first. Then I kind of knew I had to loosen up and find my rhythm a little bit. I started serving much better, started just relaxing. I knew I was going to feel pretty comfortable at some stage out there. Obviously just really happy to get through," he added.
Kyrgios goes on to face Steve Darcis, who defeated fellow qualifier Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 6-4 in the afternoon session.
Moving over to the WTA, World no. 2 Simona Halep of Romania snapped her seven-match losing streak by defeating Russian star player Maria Sharapova with a straight sets 6-2, 6-2 win.
The wild-card entry Sharapova ran into serious trouble on her serve today, producing five double faults in the whole match, three of which came in the first set.
After each broke once in the first two games of the first set, the no. 2 seed broke another two and held her own two to take a dominant 5-1 lead. Although Sharapova managed to take the seventh which she served for, Halep showed no mercy in the eighth on service, winning four games in a row to close out the first set.
"I think she played an incredible match, probably the best she's played against me in all of our previous meetings. And I wasn't as sharp," said Sharapova.
"She was hitting the ball consistently, not making a lot of unforced errors, her service percentage was quite high. She did all the right things," Sharapova conceded.
Sharapova, a wild card entry, was broken twice in the third and seventh games of the second set, on the back of several unforced errors including two double faults. In a similar story as that seen in the first set, the Romanian star won the second set in the eighth game on service, snatching her first ever career victory over Sharapova.
Awaiting Halep in the quarterfinals is Russian player Daria Kasatkina, who upset no. 11 seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, in the night session.
In other action, World no. 25 Peng Shuai remains the only home star in the women's singles campaign. She beat Monica Niculescu of Romania 6-3, 6-2 in the second round, making it back to the last 16 in Beijing after five years.
"I've played against Niculescu many times before, she is always creative on the court so it took me some time to get used to it," said Peng after the match.
Awaiting Peng in the third round is French Open winner, Latvian Jelena Ostapenko, who overwhelmed Samantha Stosur today by 6-3 and 7-5.
"She is a young, promising player, very aggressive. I will try to do my best and enjoy the game," Peng said of her upcoming opponent.