Lesley Kerkhove of the Netherlands continued her fairy tale run in the ALYA WTA Malaysian Open when the World No 195 reached the quarter-finals at TPC Kuala Lumpur today.
In the second round match pitting qualifiers, Lesley defeated World No 155 Sabina Sharipova of Uzbekistan 6-4, 6-4 to make her first appearance in the last eight on the tour.
On Monday, Lesley had defeated seventh seed Elise Mertens of Belgium for her maiden main draw tour win.
Lesley will take on 106th-ranked Nao Hibino of Japan in the quarter-finals on Friday.
The Dutchwoman played a solid game to come back from a 4-1 deficit in the first set to seal victory.
“I am really happy to make my first quarter-finals on the tour. I played well today. Sabina and I play a similar style…I just did my best and used my own game to win,” said the 26-year-old Lesley today.
“Sabina played really well and led 4-1 but I managed to hold my serve in the next game and then broke back. From then on, I played really aggressive.”
Lesley said she will enjoy the moment and prepare accordingly for the match against Hibino.
“I have been facing higher ranked players since the qualifying round. I like being the underdog,” she said.
Two matches were postponed due to the heavy downpour today.
China’s fifth seed Duan Ying Ying’s second round match against Spaniard Sara SorribesTormo will be played tomorrow together with the doubles match between Miyu Kato (Japan)-Zhang Kai Lin (China) and Oksana Kalashnikova (Georgia)-Galina Voskboeva (Kazakhstan).