WTA Tour

Cibulkova coasts into quarters

Dominika Cibulkova (AFP)
Dominika Cibulkova (AFP)

Kuala Lumpur - Top seed Dominika Cibulkova has stormed past Hsieh Su-Wei on Thursday at the BMW Malaysian Open for her WTA-leading 22nd match win of the year, passing Li Na and Agnieszka Radwanska.

Cibulkova, who is the Slovakian world number 10, came out like a house on fire as she stormed through the first set despite another rain-delayed day.

Just like in her first round match against Turkey's Pemra Ozgen, she had a slight hiccup, allowing Taiwan's tennis hero Hsieh to win two games in a row to make it 2-2.

But the 25-year-old Cibulkova bounced right back, winning four games in a row to end it, 6-1 6-2 in just over 70 minutes.

Cibulkova had been tied for WTA-level match win leader for the year with Li and Radwanska at 21, but is now the stand-alone leader.

And with three more rounds potentially, she could go as high as 25 wins here.

Awaiting Cibulkova, who is seeking her fifth career WTA Tour title, in the quarter-finals will be number six seed Zarina Diyas, who won her second round match on Wednesday.

Meanwhile second seed Zhang Shuai of China overcame a second set blemish to reach the quarter-finals.

Zhang Shuai, the world number 45, notched her second straight win over Hong Kong's Zhang Ling 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 to set-up a quarter-final match against Poland's Magda Linette on Friday.

In the first set, Zhang Shuai, the reigning Asian Games women's singles champion, started impressively -- breaking Zhang Ling's serve twice for the advantage.

However the Hong Konger turned the tide in the second set, relying on her serve-and-volley style to level proceedings.

Zhang Shuai, who won her first tour title in Guangzhou last year, tightened her game and broke Zhang Ling's serve three times for the third set win.

It will be Zhang Shuai's second quarter-finals appearance this season having reached the semi-finals in Acapulco in February.

"The humidity affected my game today," she said.

Turkey's Cagla Buyukakcay achieved her first ever quarter-finals appearance following an impressive performance in the second round.

The world number 150, who has won two International Tennis Federation titles this season, easily outpaced world number 134 Tadeja Majeric of Slovenia 6-4, 6-4 in only her sixth appearance in the main draw of a tour event.

Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur often experiences heavy rain that has marred play on all four days so far.

The tournament was also dealt an early setback when former world number one Venus Williams pulled out, reportedly due to a throat infection.

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