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Garcia, Mertens cruise into Tianjin quarterfinals

Caroline Garcia

Caroline Garcia of France hits a return shot while competing against Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in their third round women’s singles match in the China Open at the Lotus Court in Beijing, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

AP

TIANJIN, China -- Second-seeded Caroline Garcia of France moved into the Tainjin Open quarterfinals after defeating Chinese qualifier Zhang Yuxuan 6-3, 6-4 on Thursday.

The 16th-ranked Garcia will play sixth-seeded Petra Martic of Croatia for a semifinal berth on Friday.

Third-seeded Elise Mertens of Belgium also advanced by defeating Slovakian qualifier Jana Cepelova 6-2, 6-3.

Mertens’ serve was broken both times she offered Cepelova an opportunity, but Mertens had the upper hand by breaking serve six times in the match.

Mertens will play fifth-seeded Hsieh Su-Wei of Taiwan in the quarters.

Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland reached the quarterfinals with a 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 win over Japanese qualifier Misaki Doi.

Ranked No. 329, Bacsinszky is on the comeback trail following a long layoff with a right leg injury. This marks her first successive wins since Wimbledon last year.

Bacsinszky will take on fourth-seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in the quarterfinals.

The 101st-ranked Katie Boulter of Britain advanced her cause to earn a top-100 ranking for the first time by securing a quarterfinal berth.

Boulter defeated Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 to arrange a quarterfinal against top-seeded Karolina Pliskova.

Pliskova and Sabalenka are in the hunt to secure one of the remaining three spots in the eight-player WTA Finals that begins in Singapore on Oct. 21.