Wang Qiang of China celebrates after winning the women's singles quarterfinal match against Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus at China Open tennis tournament in Beijing, China, Oct. 5, 2018. Wang Qiang won 2-0.
By sportswriters Spencer Musick and Michael Butterworth
BEIJING, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- The quarterfinals of the ongoing China Open saw one home favorite advancing, another crashing out, and all current top-10 players winning their matches with ease.
The day started with world No. 8 Naomi Osaka coming back from a set down to knock out China's Zhang Shuai: 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.
Osaka got off to another slow start on serve committing several unforced errors to help her opponent break her twice out of the gate.
Osaka continued spitting out unforced errors throughout the first, and despite getting a break of her own, could not keep up with Zhang's versatile cross-court forehand strokes.
Osaka turned it around in the second, shooting 22 winners, mostly cross-court forehanders that left Zhang powerless to reply.
The third set saw Zhang have the chance to seal the deal, serving for the match after the two traded breaks to go 5-4. But a series of unforced errors could not have come at a worse time for Zhang, who suffered four double faults in the decider.
Osaka went on to break Zhang to level at 5-all as her backhand began to really find its mark.
A series of solid groundstrokes saw Osaka pull ahead decisively and book place in the semis after a two hour, 34 minutes marathon match.
Osaka's tendency to be too aggressive at the baseline worked to Zhang's benefit throughout the match. She coughed up 66 unforced errors, but managed to fire off 51 winners.
Zhang on the other hand played a neater but overly conservative match, committing 37 unforced but only managing 13 winners.
Osaka will face Anastasija Sevastova in the semifinals, who had a much easier time with world No. 100 Dominika Cibulkova, moving past her in straight sets: 6-3, 7-6 (5).
Later in the day, women's No. 2 seed Caroline Wozniacki secured safe passage to the semifinals, besting Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-2.
Wozniacki raced to a 3-0 lead out the gate. From then on, the Dane had enough to keep her opponent at arm's length for the rest of the set, only giving away two points to Siniakova across the entirety of her four service games.
The Dane continued her good form into the second set, seemingly toying with a tired-looking Siniakova with a selection of lobs and aggressive baseline shots, breaking the Czech's serve again to go 3-0 up.
The remainder of the set played out in familiar fashion, with Wozniacki typically strong on serve and never really looking threatened, as she sealed a straightforward win in one hour nine minutes.
Wozniacki was a model of consistency throughout, only making seven unforced errors to Siniakova's 28. The Dane now plays China's Wang Qiang in the semifinals, who in the late match on court stunned world No. 16 and Wuhan Open champion Arnya Sabalenka, snapping her 8-match winning streak in straight sets: 7-5, 7-5.
Wang's fluidity of play worked wonders just as Sabalenka's tendency to accumulate unforced errors worked against her in the first set.
Wang relied on her ability to go cross court and withstand Sabalenka's baseline assault on return, holding her serve throughout the second, saving two break points and going on to break Sabalenka to pull ahead and never look back, sealing the straight-set victory in one hour, 47 minutes.
On the men's side, No. 1 seed Juan Martin del Potro also made quick work of Serbia's Filip Krajinovic, besting him 6-3, 6-0 in a little over one hour.
The first set gave little indication of how the match was ultimately to unfold, with both players looking strong on serve and the set mostly consisting of powerful baseline strokes, punctuated by spells of serve-and-volley play from both players. However, del Potro's greater consistency saw him break Krajinovic twice on the way towards sealing the set.
Going into the second set, it seemed as if del Potro had allowed a measure of complacency to slip into his game, with his inconsistent shot selection allowing Krajinovic back into the match. But the Serbian was unable to convert three break points, notably crying out in frustration at one stage.
From then on, it was a del Potro benefit, with Krajinovic seemingly losing heart as proceedings wore on. The Argentinian hit six more aces and did not allow Krajinovic to win even as much as a single point from the final three games as he closed out the match with ease.
Del Potro now faces No. 4 seed Fabio Fognini in the semifinals, after the Italian defeated Hungary's Marton Fuscovics 6-4, 6-4.
The Hungarian hit four aces but was hamstrung by six double faults. Fognini's greater consistency with his first serves helped see him over the line and close the game out in one hour 40 minutes.
The late men's match saw Nikoloz Basilashvili fire six aces on the way breezing past Malek Jaziri 6-2, 6-2 in just over one hour.
Basilashvili faces No. 5 seed Kyle Edmond in the semifinals, after the Briton defeated Serbian qualifier Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 7-6.
Lajovic had shocked No. 3 seed Grigor Dimitrov in the previous round, but made a slow start as Edmond raced into a 3-0 lead that he was to keep for the remainder of the first set.
Undaunted, the Serbian came out swinging in the second set, serving up five more aces. However, Edmond stood firm and with neither player breaking serve a tiebreak was needed to settle proceedings, which Edmond ultimately edged 7-6.