As Wednesday turned to Thursday at the Sydney International, former champion Petra Kvitova became the last player to book her spot in the quarterfinals with a 7-6(2), 6-2 victory over Hsieh Su-wei.
Behind 38 winners and a domintant performance off the ground, the No.5 seed advanced to a meeting with another former champion: last year’s winner and No.2 seed Angelique Kerber.
The 2015 champion moved quickly out of the gates in the opening set, dealing well with the World No.28’s unorthodox style to power her way to a 4-1 lead.
The two-time Wimbledon champion even held two break points for 5-1 in the next game, but Hsieh held on and slowly began to work her magic to get back into the match.
Hsieh saved a set point in the eighth game and broke Kvitova for the first time the next time she served, leveling the set with her easiest hold of the night for 5-5.
The 33-year-old continued to battle in the face of Kvitova’s firepower, saving another set point in her last service game of the set to send the match to a tiebreak, but ultimately the Czech No.1 asserted her authority to win the opening set after sprinting out to a 6-0 lead in the breaker.
Five of the first six games of the second set saw break points for the returner, but it was Kvitova who largely came through in the clutch as she fended off Hsieh the rest of the way.
The World No.8 broke in the first game, and later dug out of 0-40 in the fourth game to keep her lead before earning another for insurance.
Ultimately, Kvitova hammered 38 winners to 32 unforced errors over 96 minutes, as she landed 70 percent of her first serves and won 80 percent of the points played behind them to save seven of eight break points she faced.