British No 6 Katie Swan reached the quarter-finals of the Chennai Open in India with an impressive win over over giant-killer Anastasia Gasanova on Thursday, while 2nd-seeded Varvara Gracheva defeated Carol Zhao, and No 3 seed Magda Linette stormed past Oksana Selekhmeteva, but 4th seed Tatjana Maria was upset by Nadia Podoroska in the round of 16.
Swan got past her Russian opponent, 7-6(5) 6-2, who had upset top seed Alison Riske-Amritraj in the opening round, although Gasanova appeared to be injured, and will take on Nao Hibino from Japan in the Last 8.
Hibino, who qualified for the main draw, moved into the quarter-finals by winning against China’s Wang Qiang, the No 6 seed, 6-2 6-3 on Wednesday.
Ranked No 185, Hibino now faces Swan,
“I played against Katie Swan once, a few years ago, but I don’t really remember,” Hibino admitted.
In fact, the head-to-head record between the two is 1-0 for Swan, who won New York at the US Open, 6-1 6-4.
Currently ranked 174, Swan, who has won 2 titles in 2022 in Santo Domingo and Lexington, is placed just 11 points higher than Hibino, who is at No 185 and is the Japanese No 4.
Depending on the other results, Swan could gain 12 places to become the new World No 131 if she wins her next match, but has 50 points to defend over the next 4 weeks when points drop off on 10 October.
Meanwhile, Gracheva, another Russian who is now the favourite for the title in Chennai, got the measure of Canada’s Zhao in the first set but fought off a second set challenge before advancing, 6-1 7-5, to meet young Czech talent Linda Fruhvirtova in the quarters.
Poland’s Linette pretty well thrashed Oksana Selekhmeteva, a third Russian, to set up a Last 8 contest with another Canadian, 7th-seeded Rebecca Marino on Friday.
Podoroska knocked out 4th-seeded Maria from Germany in a close 3-setter, which the Argentine won 3-6 6-2 7-6(6) after a 2 hour 46 minute battle, doing well to rally after being outplayed in the opening set against the Wimbledon semi-finalist from earlier this year.
Maria, who had trounced Indian No 1 Ankita Raina in her opening match, continued her good form and appeared set for a win and a spot in the Last 8 but the Argentine seemed to have different ideas and the deciding set turned into a see-saw affair with fluctuating fortunes before Podoroska held serve to take a 6-5 lead and put the pressure on the experienced German.
Holding on to push it into the tiebreak, Maria rushed to a 5-1 lead before Podoroska fought back again, and edged her out, 8-6.