China’s Zheng Jie recorded one of the biggest wins of her career by beating world No.1 Dinara Safina 7-5 4-6 6-4 at the $700,000 2009 LA Women’s Tennis Championships presented by Herbalife.
The 23nd-ranked Zheng had beaten a world No.1 before – Ana Ivanovic in the third round of last year’s Wimbledon – but had never beaten Safina.
“She’s a good player and it’s tough to play her,” said Safina after the third-round defeat. “In this match I didn’t do the right things. I should have played better. Today, she took her chances and beat me.”
Zheng, the 14th seed, will next face Australian 13th seed Samantha Stosur, who dominated current world No.11 Ana Ivanovic 6-3 6-2 in the third round. Stosur has scored her sixth win over a Top 15 opponent this year. Also, she has defeated former top-ranked players in consecutive weeks, having beaten Serena Williams in the Stanford quarterfinals.
World No.61 Maria Sharapova, after upsetting third seed Victoria Azarenka in the previous round, rebounded from a slow first-set start for the second straight day and defeated Alona Bondarenko 4-6 6-0 6-3. In the quarterfinals, Sharapova will face Poland’s Urszula Radwanska, who got a walkover from No.12 seed Li Na due to a right knee injury.