Update 9:33pm: Spanish rising star Garbine Muguruza stunned third seed Agnieszka Radwanska in three sets to continue the run of upsets on day three at the Apia International Sydney, before second seed Petra Kvitova restored some order with her win over China’s Peng Shuai.
On a day when several seeds fell, Kvitova was in scintillating form in the first set, giving away just a single game as she looked on track for an easy victory.
To Shuai’s credit, the 29-year-old did not give up and pushed the world No.4 all the way in the second, forcing the 1.83m tall Kvitova around the court.
She hung in for 10 games before the two-time Wimbledon champion’s power became too much and a forehand winner gave her the first service break of the set. An ace sealed the deal; Kvitova will next face the winner of the match between Dominika Cibulkova and Australian wildcard Jarmila Gajdosova.
Meanwhile, Radwanska was in good form having just won the Hopman Cup last week before dominating Alize Cornet in the first round in Sydney, but couldn’t hold off the fast-finishing Spaniard; Muguruza triumphing 3-6 7-6(4) 6-2.
Muguruza progressed to a quarterfinal showdown with the winner of the match between No.5 Angelique Kerber and Australian wildcard Daria Gavrilova.
“I played her two times before and I lost. I was like, ‘OK, this time I want to win. I wants to see what happens’. For me to win this match, I feel like I improve a lot,” Muguruza said.
“When I play against her I really have to concentrate and do my game, because she makes me play different styles and dropshots and long balls. So I’m really happy I could like beat her game.”
With Radwanska’s new coach Martina Navratilova watching on, Radwanska began the stronger of the pair, before the Spaniard’s power began to become a decisive factor.
In the tiebreak it was Muguruza who was dictating the play, and she produced a crosscourt forehand winner to send the set into a third.
In the final stanza she dominated, completing victory in two hours and 10 minutes.
The match was played before a packed crowd on Grandstand court, an atmosphere Muguruza embraced.
“There were some people there like cheering a lot, so it was kind of funny,” she said.
“But I really like it when you play these type of the matches and the crowd is like into the match also. You feel the nervous, the second round against a top player. It’s a great moment.”