Tennis: World number one Muguruza powers into Wuhan quarters

Muguruza hits a return against Magda Linette of Poland. PHOTO: AFP

WUHAN, China (AFP) - World number one Garbine Muguruza powered her way into the quarterfinals at the Wuhan Open on Wednesday (Sept 27), defeating Poland's Magda Linette 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 to set up a mouth-watering clash with Jelena Ostapenko.

The Spaniard dominated the first set, but performed meekly in the second at a hot and humid tournament that has seen all but three seeds crash out.

The 23-year-old number one seed suffered with a poor forehand in the third set but broke her opponent at 4-5 to clinch the third-round tie.

"Today I had a very tough match and had to go out there and fight a lot. The second set didn't go my way at all," she told a post-match press conference.

But she said she was "looking forward" to her quarter-final clash with Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open winner, after the Latvian overpowered Monica Puig of Puerto Rico 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

Ostapenko has now won 20 of her last 23 three-set matches, according to the WTA.

"I like to play these matches where the player is playing the best (that they can)," Muguruza added. "It's going to be a good quarter final."

Earlier in the day, Agnieszka Radwanska suffered an upset 4-6, 6-0, 6-4 defeat at the hands of Australia's Ashleigh Barty.

Radwanska, seeded nine, looked strong in the first set but lost seven consecutive games to allow her opponent - ranked 37 in the world - to take a lead in the third.

The 28-year-old Pole said she was still recovering from a virus that knocked her out of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.

"After the virus, playing three matches in a row in these conditions is something that I didn't really handle great," she said.

Barty, who had already downed fifth seed Johanna Konta in the second round, is now in the running to qualify for the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai.

Radwanska, ranked 13 in the world, was the latest seed to roll at Wuhan after Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki crashed out on Tuesday.

They followed fellow seeds Johanna Konta, Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys and Petra Kvitova among others, who all suffered surprise defeats on Monday.

Elsewhere, Karolina Pliskova sealed a resounding 6-2, 6-1 victory against Wang Qiang, who on Tuesday became the first ever Chinese player to make it into the third round at Wuhan after sailing past US Open winner Sloane Stephens.

There are now no Chinese left in the draw.

Pliskova, seeded third, said she felt the best she had all year during the match.

"I felt great today. Probably you could see it. I was just feeling every shot," said the 25-year-old Czech.

"Even my backhand, my forehand, even the serve. There was not many matches in this year like this, so I appreciate it."

Maria Sakkari of Greece, Russian Ekaterina Makarova, Caroline Garcia of France and her compatriot Alize Cornet are also through to the last eight.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.