World number one Ashleigh Barty has progressed into the quarter-finals of the Wuhan Open in China.
The Australian was rarely troubled during her match against the United States’ Sofia Kenin at the Women’s Tennis Association Premier 5 event at the Optics Valley International Tennis Center in the capital of Hubei province.
Barty claimed the opening set 6-3 and maintained the momentum to win the second 7-5.
She is now set to face Croatia’s Petra Martić, who was a straight sets 6-3, 6-1 winner against Russian qualifier Veronika Kudermetova.
Barty will retain her world number one ranking regardless of the outcome of the tournament.
It follows the Czech Republic’s Karolína Plíšková suffering defeat in her third-round match.
Plíšková needed to at least reach the semi-finals and go one round further than Barty to assume top spot in the rankings.
The tournament second seed suffered a 6-1, 6-4 loss to Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska.
Yastremska is scheduled face further Czech opposition in the quarter-finals, as Petra Kvitová earned a 6-3, 6-3 win over the United States’ Sloane Stephens.
Fourth seed Simona Halep was forced to withdraw from her match against wildcard Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan.
Trailing 5-4 in the first set, the Romania pulled out of the contest through injury.
Rybakina advanced to the quarter-finals as a result.
She is scheduled to face defending champion Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, who beat her Dutch opponent Kiki Bertens 6-1, 7-6 in the third round.
Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina, the third seed, won 6-4, 6-2 against Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Svitolina is now due to play Alison Riske in the last eight after the American beat China’s Wang Qiang 6-2, 6-1.