(Photo credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
Jelena Ostapenko recorded a 6-4, 6-2 win over fourth-seeded Jessica Pegula on Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals at the China Open in Beijing.
Ostapenko, the 13th seed from Latvia, collected 24 winners against 11 unforced errors to win the match in 78 minutes.
"I think I always play quite well in China," said Ostapenko, a 2017 semifinalist in Beijing. "Finally tournaments are back here and with a lot of fans, which I like a lot.
"After the U.S. Open, I had a bit more confidence and I had really good preparation before that.
"Some matches during the year were close. I was losing them, but they were very close. I felt like at some point they have to go my way. It's working now."
Ostapenko avenged an early-season loss to Pegula in Doha. Pegula posted a 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 victory in that match.
"Just in general, I think I played well but it was not easy because the court was very slow and the rallies were super long. I felt the court is a bit slower than other tournaments," Ostapenko said.
"I felt like if you go for very dangerous shots it didn't really work on these courts," Ostapenko said. "So I tried to open the point up and when I had the chance, just to finish it. Playing more angles worked pretty well."
Ostapenko advanced to play Russian Liudmila Samsonova, who needed 2 hours and 55 minutes to post a 6-5, 6-7 (4), 7-5 win over Marta Kostyuk of the Ukraine.
Pegula finished with 12 winners against 12 unforced errors in a losing effort.
Also on Wednesday, second-seeded Iga Swiatek breezed to a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Polish compatriot Magda Linette in 65 minutes.
Swiatek won 84.2 percent of her first-serve points (16 of 19) to advance to face either ninth-seeded Caroline Garcia of France of Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine.
"I felt like I was playing a good game and I was in control from the beginning to the end," Swiatek said. "I'm happy that I was consistent. I didn't have ups and downs in the match, so it doesn't matter who I'm playing. If I play like that, I feel really confident."
Fifth-seeded Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan overcame a first-set misstep to notch a 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 third-round victory over 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva of Russia in 1 hour, 49 minutes.
Rybakina, a former Wimbledon champion, won 10 of the last 11 games to set up a quarterfinal clash against either World No. 1 Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus or Italian Jasmine Paolini.
--Field Level Media