• China tennis player Zheng Saisai.

China tennis player Zheng Saisai. (Photo : Getty Images)

World no. 70 Zheng Saisai of China overcame world no. 49 Varvara Lepchenko of the United States in straight sets, 7-5, 6-1, in the third round of the qualifiers of the 2016 Dubai Tennis Championships held at the Aviation Club Tennis Centre in Dubai, UAE on Monday.

It was the third straight impressive game by China's current best women's tennis player as she managed to move into the last 28 stage of the said tournament.

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Xinhuanet noted that the 22-year-old Shaanxi, China native had trouble "finding her rhythm" versus the 29-year-old Uzbekistan-born American, especially in the first set of the match.

Zheng was not deterred, though, as she had "often rose her self-motivating fist and shouted at herself 'c'mon!' for winning tricky balls", the report continued.

The recent Australian Open women's doubles semifinalist had some good things to say about her more illustrious counterpart after the match, commenting that "She is really a good player and she fights a lot. So I was relieved to take the first set".

Zheng used precise long-ball corner shots in the game to trick her much-taller opponent, which was actually precarious because of the windy weather in the venue. Despite Lepchenko's long wingspan, the 5-foot-7 Zheng was able to pull off her plan.

"Since Lepchenko is strong in the baseline play in particular, I tried to push her back, and when I saw my chance I switched to play at the net," she explained her strategy to reporters after the match.

Shanghai Daily reported that Zheng had also won "her first double match" in the said tournament with fellow Chinese teammate Xu Yifan, defeating the Omani-Bulgarian duo of Fatma Al-Nabhani and Tsvetana Pironkova, 4-6, 6-2, and 10-8.

Meanwhile, world no. 52 Anna-Lena Friedsam of Germany, the conqueror of China's Wang Qiang in the second round, lost to Pironkova in the third round, 7-5, 5-7, 3-6, as she tried to fight off cold during the match.

Zheng, together with her doubles partner Xu, reached the semifinals of last month's Australian Open, losing to the Czech tandem of Andrea Hlavackova, whom she beat in the second round of the Dubai Open, and Lucie Hradecka.