China Open: Konta beats Pliskova to reach quarterfinals
British number one Johanna Konta reached the China Open quarter-finals by beating world number six Karolina Pliskova for the first time.
Konta, ranked 14th, saw off the Czech 6-1 3-6 7-6 (7-2) in a rain-delayed match in Beijing.
Konta, 25, led 4-1 when the players were forced off, returning to win the first set in just 23 minutes on court.
Pliskova levelled after converting her seventh break point, but the Briton recovered to win a final-set tie-break.
She will face home favourite Zhang Shuai, who beat fourth seed Simona Halep 6-0 6-3 in 58 minutes in the last eight.
The gutsy victory, completed in two hours and seven minutes, maintains Konta’s hopes of reaching the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore.
She is 11th in the standings, with only the top eight qualifying for the tournament, which takes place from 23-30 October.
Konta could also break into the world’s top 10 for the first time if she continues her run at the China Open.
She would join Virginia Wade, Sue Barker and Jo Durie as the only Britons to achieve the feat on the WTA Tour.
World number one Angelique Kerber is out of the China Open after losing to Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina.
The German, who won the Australian and US Opens this year, saved two match points against the 16th seed but lost 6-3 7-5.
Third seed Agnieszka Radwanska reached the quarter-finals with a 6-3 6-1 win against former world number one Caroline Wozniacki.
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